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Monday, May 2, 2011

BBC's Robert Peston gets a dressing down for smutty Royal Wedding tweets

By Colin Fernandez

-Business editor joked about William and Kate 'having sex at last'
-Peston also mocked the Queen in his tweets

BBC business editor Robert Peston has received a dressing down from his bosses for making remarks on Twitter about William and Kate having sex.

Peston, one of many celebrities and media figures commenting on the Royal Wedding, told his 31,000 Twitter followers: ‘The really important thing about this truly magical day is they can have sex at last.’

Executives at the corporation considered the tweet to be ‘hugely inappropriate’, according to sources, and ordered Peston to remove it.

He also made a series of other comments which might be considered disrespectful.

In one, he said: ‘Bit worried about the new princess. Plainly didn’t read her BBC health and safety manual. Too much waving. Big RSI risk.’

In another, he asked what the collective noun was for Royal pundits, naming Simon Schama, Andrew Roberts and Andrew Morton.

He tweeted: ‘The correct answer, as students of constitutional history will know, is “a lickspittle”.’

In a tweet which might be seen as patronising, he wrote: ‘My favourite moment in a magical morning was when Sky News told us that Her Majesty knows the name of every one of the horses. Bless her.’

A BBC spokesman said the corporation was not making any comment about Peston’s tweeting, but a corporation source confirmed he had been asked to take one of his tweets down.

The source claimed the business editor felt the corporation was over-reacting to ‘a light-hearted Carry On-style comment’.

Centre of attention: The BBC journalist had made lewd comments about Prince William and his wife Kate, the Duchess of Cambridge

Other controversial tweets this weekend came from former England cricket captain Michael Vaughan, who made a risque suggestion that Prince Harry could ‘get lucky’ with the bride’s sister, Pippa, and sports presenter Clare Balding, who wrote: ‘Prince Harry is now telling Prince William a few of his filthiest jokes to settle him down.’

To many broadcasters, and indeed members of the public, Peston’s controversial Twitter posts will come as no surprise.

One industry insider told The Daily Telegraph that he sometimes has difficulty filtering what he’s about to say: ‘Unless you have edited your thoughts, you can't get them out. With Peston, you can almost hear the washing machine going round.’

The BBC man is also known for having a delivery to camera that many find annoying, due to his habit of adding in redundant words between sentences.

‘I am, er, um, still not, frankly, as polished, shall we say, as some of my colleagues who have been in the business for donkey's years,’ he told the paper. ‘A number of newspapers have great fun pointing out that I go “er, um” quite a lot.’

He added: ‘I am not going to endeavour to become somebody hugely smooth and polished and completely phoney.’

However, while Peston’s Twitter storm may not be his finest hour, the business guru has had some glittering journalistic achievements in the past, including predicting the collapse of Northern Rock.

Back in 2003 he foresaw that the bank was expanding too fast to remain stable and famously announced that it would ‘soon find itself between a rock and a hard place’.

Twitter targets: Peston's words on the Queen could be read as patronising and England cricket captain Michael Vaughan made a risque comment about Pippa



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