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Carnival n-word controversy: Song that got BBC DJ sacked used to promote annual parade

Last year's rainy Tring Carnival

Last year's rainy Tring Carnival

 

A song containing a racist word was until recently being used to promote Saturday’s Tring Carnival – just two months after a BBC radio DJ was sacked for playing it.

David Lowe, 68, lost his job after playing a 1932 version of The Sun Has Got His Hat On during his Sunday night show on BBC Radio Devon.

It contains the lyric: “He’s been tanning n****** out in Timbuktu, now he’s coming back to do the same to you.”

The version until earlier today was being used as background music for a YouTube slideshow promoting this year’s Tring Carnival.

It was uploaded to the video website by Tring Together after it poured down at last year’s Tring Carnival.

Chairman Vivianne Child said: “We had no idea of anything offensive in the backing track – so we are just taking it off and will replace it with new music.

“We like the idea and the concept of having social media type advertising – but obviously not with that word in it. I’d heard nothing about the DJ who lost his job.”

She said that nobody from Tring Together had heard the n-word when listening to the song before uploading it.

The 1932 version of The Sun Has Got His Hat on was released at a time when use of the n-word was socially acceptable. It is now widely seen as one of the most offensive and racist words out there.

Mr Lowe lost his job when one person complained about him playing the song – despite first offering to make an on-air apology to make amends.

He also said he hadn’t realised the song contained the n-word at the time when he chose to include it in his show. The show had been pre-recorded, but was not approved for transmission as required by the BBC’s compliance system.

Mr Lowe was later offered his job back – but refused, saying that the incident had exacerbated a stress-related condition that he suffers from.

 

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