Nihal Arthanayake reports man for ‘racially aggravated’ offence outside pub

BBC presenter Nihal Arthanayake has said Greater Manchester Police officers are looking into his report of a “racial aggravated public order offence”.

The 51-year-old, who hosts a Radio 5 Live show, said he was outside a pub at the weekend when a man approached him and used a four-letter slur, referring to people of Pakistani origin, and the n-word.

On Twitter on Saturday, Arthanayake wrote: “So, last night this happened to me and I am still trying to process the weirdness of it. Warning that there is bad language.”

In a video below the tweet, the presenter said: “I don’t really know what just happened, I was in a place called Altrincham… and I was outside this pub, which I’d been in with my wife, dancing around… It was fun. (There was a cover) band (they were) very good.

“I saw this man sitting outside (and) I was waiting for my wife to come out, so I said: ‘Can I come and sit with you, can we talk?’ and he was like ‘Yeah, yeah absolutely.’ (He was a) little, kind of drunk man.

“We got talking and he said ‘Oh are you a doctor?’ So I started laughing because it’s a question as an Asian you might get asked and I went ‘Well why would you ask that?’”

Then he said the man used two slurs and added: “Oh sorry, you’re offended, aren’t you?”

Arthanayake added: “It was so weird but you know when you come to some of these areas, I think there’s just some people who still feel they can say that word, like what?”

On the social media site, Arthanayake wrote that he would not be naming the pub as he had a “great time in there before encountering that racist man”.

The presenter followed the tweet, writing: “Impressed that @gmpolice have already been in touch. Looking at investigating a Racially Aggravated Public Order Offence.”

Arthanayake also shared his post on Instagram where The Great British Bake Off 2016 winner Nadiya Hussain wrote: “This is the reality for so many of us. Sending you love and solidarity.”

TV personality Vicky Pattison, who won a previous season of I’m a Celebrity…Get Me Out Of Here! and was on Geordie Shore, also wrote: “I’m sorry nihal… sending you so much love.”

Greater Manchester Police have been contacted.

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