Listeners were very unhappy with Tommy Tiernan's joke about Arlene Foster 2 years ago

Listeners were very unhappy with Tommy Tiernan's joke about Arlene Foster

Controversy is a given when inviting a live-wire comedian like Tommy Tiernan on to your radio show.

It is a built-in side effect of having a professional funny-person do live radio, the collateral damage is going to be good manners and, usually, everyone else's feelings are left to the wayside.

Tiernan appeared on the Mark Patterson show on Radio Foyle earlier this week, and DUP leader Arlene Foster came up in conversation.

The interview, which has since been taken down from the website, included Tiernan commenting:

"If she wasn't in politics I can see her working single-handedly on a tiny little farm in south Fermanagh driving cattle up some country lane."

Tiernan then impersonated Foster, saying: "Go on you pups, you fenian bastards ye, go up you fenian... Friesian Arlene, they are called Friesian, Arlene. I'll call them what I want."

DUP MP Gregory Campbell spoke to The Belfast News Letter about the comments: "His humour can be quite lively if it is delivered and taken in the spirit it is intended it to be, but some of that stuff (about Arlene Foster) appears to be, in terms if the language used anyway, almost deliberately provocative to try to engender some sort of outrage. "

Mark Patterson later apologised for the interview, saying: "If anyone was offended by that I do humbly apologise but
Tommy is I suppose that kind of talent in terms of what he does and the people who pay to see him do it."

The BBC also gave an apology, stating: "The language used by our guest was clearly inappropriate. We unreservedly apologise for its use and any offence caused. This section of the programme has been removed for our catch-up services."