Capital Radio DJ apologises for ‘insensitive’ joke about earthquake-hit Turkey

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Capital Radio DJ Ant Payne has apologised for making an “insensitive and ill-timed” joke on air about earthquake-hit Turkey.

The presenter, who hosts the 4pm to 7pm slot on the station, said during his show on Monday that “now is actually the best time” to start looking for “cheap flights” to the country.

Payne faced criticism from some on social media, with Liberal Democrat councillor Suzanne Nuri-Nixon urging him to “read the room”.

On Tuesday morning, he tweeted: “Hi guys, I want to address the comment I made last night on the show.

“It was insensitive and ill timed. I would never wish to offend anyone from my shows. My sincere and wholehearted apologies.”

Two earthquakes of magnitude 7.8 and 7.5 struck nine hours apart in south-eastern Turkey and Syria on February 6.

The death toll recently passed 35,000 as rescuers continued to work to reach people trapped under the rubble.

On Monday, while on air, Payne said: “I think now is actually the best time to start looking at some cheap flights away to Turkey, over the next few years.

“Get your teeth done while you are over there. Come back looking 19 years old. You will be on Love Island next year if you are doing that.”

After the clip was shared on social media, Ms Nuri-Nixon commented: “Wow @CapitalOfficial, just wow!

“Read the room Ant Payne, thousands have died, thousands are in mourning and you crack a ‘joke’?! Man, did you misread the room!”

Payne was previously a presenter on Galaxy FM before joining Capital Radio in January 2011.

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