A BBC radio presenter has made a grovelling apology after she claimed on air that the ”Chinese eat cats”.
Red-faced Judi Spiers, 57, was forced to say sorry after the ”distasteful” gaffe on her BBC Radio Devon morning show.
The veteran presenter was discussing a book about Casper the cat, who shot to fame after it emerged he regularly made an 11-mile bus trip from his home in Plymouth, Devon.
But she stunned listeners on Friday when she questioned whether the Chinese ”eat cats” while discussing Casper’s antics.
She said: ”Ten-and-a-half thousand copies have been sold and the book has been translated into six different languages – Dutch, German, Portuguese, Italian and two dialects of Chinese – I don’t know whether they’ll enjoy that, don’t they eat cats?’
Half an hour later the presenter said: ”Earlier in the programme I made a comment about Casper the cat which some of you may have found offensive.
”I would like to apologise if you found the comment distasteful. Obviously I did not mean to offend.”
One listener, who did not want to be named, said she was stunned by the remark branded her comments ”distasteful”.
He said: ”I couldn’t believe it – one minute she was talking about the book and then suddenly she said the Chinese eat cats.
”It was a very strange and surprising thing to say and I’m sure some people would have been offended.”
Mrs Spiers has presented the show on Radio Devon since 2005 and also hosted a Saturday afternoon show on BBC Radio 2 between 1994 and 1998.
A BBC spokesman said: ”Judi meant no offence and apologised on air very shortly after the comments were made.”
Tributes flooded in from all corners of the globe when it emerged Casper the cat had been killed in a hit-and-run with a car earlier this year.
Owner Sue Finden decided to write his biography, entitled Casper the Commuting Cat: The True Story of the Cat Who Rode the Bus and Stole Our Hearts, published in the summer.
The book was ghost written by Linda Watson-Brown and published by New York-based company Simon & Schuster.