Fury as murder is a joking matter

Quips from Matthew Wright and Charlie Baker

Matthew Wright has apologised after he and comic Charlie Baker cracked jokes while discussing a teenager’s murder.

As a guest on Wright’s Channel 5 show yesterday, Baker raised the story of how 16-year-old Liam Aitchison had become the first murder victim on the Western Isles in 43 years.

While Baker was reading out the details of the case, Wright interrupted in a Scottish accent to mimic the Taggart catchphrase: ‘There’s been another murder.’

Baker then underlined the reference, by saying the investigation could be the ‘longest episode of Taggart ever’.

Aitchison’s father Norman criticised the jokes, posting on the Channel 5 website: Would your panel members be making a joke of this if it was one of their own children? My son’s death is no joke and I am disgusted with every single one of you on that panel.’

Today, Wright issued an apology for the comments – but then told viewers who planned to report him to broadcast regulator Ofcom to ‘grow up’.

He said on air: ‘I know that some of you have been upset by some comments made during yesterday's newspaper review about the murder of Liam Aitchison in Stornoway and I would like to apologise if that was the case.

‘Certainly, no intention on my part to belittle the seriousness, or the tragedy of this story, or to offend anyone who knew Liam. You know me, I have been touched by death too many times to belittle anything like that."

But the he added: ‘Not helped by people running campaigns “report Matthew Wright to Ofcom”. I mean, grow up folks.’

A Facebook page to that effect has 844 followers at the time of writing.

In October, Wright issued another on-air apology after Amanda Knox was cleared of murdering Meredith Kercher in Italy –  which they discussed under the heading: ‘Foxy Knoxy: Would Ya?’

Tuesday’s episode of the Wright Stuff has been removed from Channel 5’s On Demand service, but here is the offending clip:

Published: 7 Dec 2011

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