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Football Pundit Suspended For Using 'Handbags' To Describe Players Fighting

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Football Pundit Suspended For Using 'Handbags' To Describe Players Fighting

A BBC football pundit has been suspended after listeners complained that he used an offensive term.

The controversy arose after Steve 'Tommo' Thompson described a bit of a scuffle between two players as 'handbags'.

Steve, 65, used the phrase on BBC Radio Lincolnshire during Lincoln City's 1-0 win at Swindon Town on Tuesday night.

The ex-Lincoln defender and manager, who freelances for the broadcaster, said he was 'devastated' by the decision to suspend him.

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Credit: BBC
Credit: BBC

The phrase 'handbags' - similar to 'handbags at dawn' - actually appears in the Collins Dictionary, where it is described as 'an incident in which people, especially sportsmen, fight or threaten to fight, but without real intent to inflict harm'.

One fan, Bernard O'Mahoney wants Thompson to be reinstated.

As reported by The Sun, he said: "As any football fan knows, 'handbags' is an incredibly well-known saying.

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"I can't begin to think who'd be offended by it. The BBC has lost touch with the public."

While another fan said: "It's just an old term. The BBC should pay more attention to songs on their stations promoting knife crime and drug use."

A spokesperosn for the BBC said: "After listeners raised concerns, Steve acknowledged some of his comments on air didn't meet the standards we expect. He is taking a break but will be back in the New Year."

The BBC recently came under fire for announcing that Radio 1 will play an alternate version of The Pogues and Kirsty MacColl Christmas classic 'Fairytale of New York' this year as some of its listeners may be offended by the original.

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Shane McGowan. Credit: PA
Shane McGowan. Credit: PA

The song has previously sparked debate over its use of the homophobic slur 'f*****' as well as the word 'slut', with many thinking the outdated words need to be ditched.

This year, Radio 1 will be playing an alternate version which will still feature lyrics sung by Kirsty MacColl - with the BBC saying that younger audiences could be particularly sensitive to the original.

The new version will replace the lyrics 'you cheap, lousy f*****' with the words, 'you're cheap and you're haggard'.

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It's also believed the word 'slut' will be muted.

BBC Radio 2 will play original version of the song, while 6 Music DJ will have both options available, according to the broadcaster.

A spokesperson for BBC told LADbible: "We know the song is considered a Christmas classic and we will continue to play it this year, with our radio stations choosing the version of the song most relevant for their audience."

Featured Image Credit: BBC

Amelia Ward
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