Norfolk

BBC presenter Nick Conrad sorry for Ched Evans rape remarks

Nick Conrad
Image caption BBC Radio Norfolk presenter Nick Conrad told listeners "it's best to keep your knickers on"

A BBC radio presenter has apologised after saying women should "keep their knickers on", during a live debate about convicted rapist Ched Evans.

BBC Radio Norfolk host Nick Conrad made the comment during a phone-in about the future of the former Sheffield United and Norwich City footballer.

Rape campaigners have condemned the remarks. Conrad has apologised.

A BBC spokesman said some of the 29-year-old presenter's comments were "very ill-judged".

During his programme on Monday, Conrad said: "I think women need to be more aware of a man's sexual desire, that when you're in that position that you are about to engage in sexual activity, there's a huge amount of energy in the male body, there's a huge amount of will and intent, and it's very difficult for many men to say no when they are whipped up into a bit of a storm.

"It's the old adage about if you yank a dog's tail then don't be surprised when it bites you."

'Wrong signals'

He went on to suggest feminists who had "hijacked" or "jumped on" the argument "neglect that very important part of the argument".

"In their fury against men and masculinity they actually forget to stop and say if you tease, if you jump into bed naked with a man, if you give him all the signals and then he acts upon them, then you are partially responsible," he said.

"If you don't wish to give out the wrong signals it's best probably to keep your knickers on and not get into bed with him."

Image copyright PA
Image caption Ched Evans was jailed in April 2012 for raping a 19-year-old woman in a hotel room and released last month

Conrad added he needed to be "careful" about what he said because he did not "want this to be explosive".

"The onus has to be on the men.... if a woman says no and they persist then that's absolutely abhorrent," he said.

'Demeaning and crass'

The BBC said Conrad had spoken to the charity End Violence Against Women Coalition during the programme and there had been no formal complaints.

"As part of a wide-ranging discussion.... he made it clear that rape is an abhorrent act," a spokesman said.

"BBC management has told Nick that some of his comments were very ill-judged and he has apologised for any offence that may have been caused."

Katie Russell, from Rape Crisis, said the "ignorant comments" showed there were "still a number of pervasive and harmful myths around sexual violence".

"The idea that men's sexual desires render them incapable of taking responsibility for their actions, or of respecting another person's right to choose what happens to their body, is unfounded, outdated and offensive to men," she said.

"The idea that women should take responsibility for men's sexuality is equally insulting to both men and women."

Jessica Asato, Labour's prospective parliamentary candidate for Norwich North, called for Mr Conrad to apologise on air.

Posting on her Twitter account, she called his comments "demeaning and crass towards women".

Wales international striker Evans was jailed in April 2012 for raping a 19-year-old woman in a hotel room the previous year and released last month.

The question of whether he should be allowed to play professional football again for Sheffield United, his employer at the time he was convicted, or any other club has been hotly debated since his release.

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