Entertainment

BBC sorry for joking Queen had died

The BBC has apologized after a Birmingham radio host announced on Monday that the Queen had died.

The BBC has apologized after a Birmingham radio host announced on Monday that the Queen had died.

Danny Kelly, who works for BBC WM, which broadcasts across the West Midlands, played the British national anthem as he announced, "Queen Elizabeth II has now died," on his Monday afternoon radio show.

His producer, Mark Newman, immediately interrupted the program, saying, "You can't say that."

Kelly, 39, who has worked in radio for 10 years, then explained that he had been referring to a user of the Facebook social networking website who goes by the same name as the British monarch.

On its website Tuesday, BBC apologized "unreservedly" for Kelly's remark.

"BBC WM takes these comments very seriously and due action has been taken," it said.

"Mr. Kelly will not present his show for the remainder of the week and a formal apology was made at the start of Tuesday's show," it added, saying Mollie Green will take over the show until next Tuesday.

Vivianne Paterson, chairman of Mediawatch-UK, Britain's radio and television watchdog, told the Daily Mail that the statement had been in bad taste.

"Because it's the Queen and they treated it like a big announcement, it makes things worse," she said.

"It's the BBC we are talking about here, and there's a certain expectation from them."