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Archive - Friday, 21 September 2001
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DJ's fight with BBC
CONTROVERSIAL Prestwich DJ, James H. Reeve, has launched a campaign to try and clear his name three years after he was criticised by radio bosses for using racist language on air.
But the former broadcaster for BBC GMR could face legal action after using the company name to set up a website which condemns station bosses over their treatment of him.
Reeve, of Scholes Lane, sensationally stormed out of his lunchtime slot at GMR in September, 1998 after he was hauled up for using "gratuitous racist language".
The outspoken presenter, who is a vehement anti-racist, admits to saying the word "nigger" in an on-air discussion with Mr Ahmed Ali, of Tameside REC.
The remark was made to highlight the kind of abuse commonly used.
Said Reeve: "Following a controversial poster campaign by the Commission for Racial Equality, I conducted an interview with Mr Ali. I asked him if he would accept the word "nigger" but Mr Ali said he would not as he considered it too offensive." Reeve said he apologised on air for using the word and the debate continued.
But his actions prompted radio bosses to call him in for a meeting later that day.
He claims his managing editor at the time, Karen Hannah, accused him of "gratuitous use of racist language on and off air" and said she had received complaints from a colleague about a second racist remark made by Reeve during a meeting conducted off-air.
Following a heated conversation in which Reeve said he was asked for his "defence" in the matter, the DJ resigned on the spot.
Reeve, who now works for Manchester City FC hosting hospitality events on match days, claims the full details of the incident have never been revealed and accuses the BBC of trying to discredit his name.
Three years on and Reeve broke his silence over his departure and vowed to tell "the true story" of what happened via the internet.
He set up a website using a distorted BBC GMR logo two weeks ago but within 48 hours the site was scrapped by domain host fasthosts.co.uk.
Undeterred, Reeve has since found an alternative host for the site.
A BBC spokesman said: "The BBC lawyers were in touch with the service provider about aspects of the original site. Since then this site has been taken off."
The spokesman said concern was raised as the site appeared to "pass itself off as a BBC site" and he added: "There are other aspects of the site that may give rise to legal action."
Defending his actions Reeve said: "I just want people to learn the truth about what happened but the BBC solution is to shut it down and stop people reading it. I discovered that no one had actually bought the BBC GMR domain name so I bought it for £12. But it has taken me a while to to learn how to operate the internet."
"Just two weeks ago in Tesco a member of the public told me not to use any more racist language," he added, "So the perception still persists. All those involved are sailing along happily and carving out niches in the BBC while I had to try and resume my career. I had to start again from scratch."
The BBC spokesman said the matter was still in the hands of the legal department.