Keith Chegwin's row with BBC presenter leaves bad taste
TV star and West panto actor Keith Chegwin has become embroiled in a war of words with a BBC radio presenter who said his voice made her ‘feel physically sick’.
The Scouse funnyman took exception to the ‘tweet’ post on the social network internet site Twitter by BBC Wiltshire reporter Marie Lennon, who made it clear she was not looking forward to Cheggers appearing in panto in the town for the second year running.
It might not be on the scale of Foreman vs Ali or Nixon and Frost, but the little Twitter spat between presenters on BBC Wiltshire’s radio station and the star have given an added frisson of tension to the publicity the station gives later this year to Swindon’s pantomime production.
Chegwin took to Twitter himself to label Marie Lennon’s jibe ‘sad’, and questioned how the BBC had changed since his days presenting the likes of Saturday SwapShop and Cheggers Plays Pop.
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Lennon quickly deleted the post but not before Chegwin responded. “BBC Wiltshire top presenter Marie Lennon using BBC’s name, is slagging me off. How BBC radio has changed. Sad.” He later added: “Marie Lennon the BBC Wiltshire presenter has deleted rude Tweet about me. Still using BBC’s name to get followers.”
Chegwin has become something of an instant hit on Twitter after he joined earlier this year.
Fellow BBC presenter at the Swindon-based station, Anna Bird, joined in and replied to Lennon’s original ‘tweet’: “I agree! I felt sick at work today and now I know why.”
But Lennon, who was hauled over the coals by BBC bosses for the message, replied: “I am in trouble.”
The post was deleted, and later on she posted: “Sorry if anyone was offended by yesterday’s tweet. Very long day.” She later amended her Twitter account information to say: “Views are MINE”.
A spokesman for BBC Wiltshire declined to say whether Lennon would be sent to review Aladdin this winter, but did say: “This was her personal view for which she has now apologised. It doesn’t reflect the views of the station.”
Since the Twitter spat, followers of Marie Lennon have been posting messages of support, saying they agree with her original assessment, while the Wyvern Theatre in Swindon – where Chegwin is playing Wishee Washee in this Christmas’s production of Aladdin – have given their support to him.
“At the Wyvern we’re all huge fans of Keith Chegwin’s voice. And that’s why he is returning to our theatre for another year of pantomime this Christmas,” said marketing manager Richard Loftus.