BBC radio presenter suspended over 'appalling' breastfeeding comments

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Alex Dyke BBC Radio Solent breastfeeding comments
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BBC radio presenter Alex Dyke has been suspended after comments he made on his BBC Radio Solent show on Wednesday 12 August 2015.


Speaking at the beginning of his show, which the BBC describes on their website as 'visiting the Solent region's quirky corners' and giving listeners 'your chance to be a Mouth of the South', Alex passed comment on breastfeeding in public, saying it was 'unnatural' and 'has to be stopped.'


He said: 'There's stuff that, particularly in this day and age, guys should say. I'm going to tell you what guys are thinking. It's 2015. Ladies, mums, we don't like breastfeeding in public. We don't. Honestly.'


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The presenter went on to cite an experience he'd had the previous day with a lady breastfeeding on the bus:


'Yesterday I was on a bus and a lady was on this bus. She was quite a big girl, she had a toddler with her, a baby and some shopping. She starts to breastfeed her baby on the bus. I didn't know where to look. She's putting me in an embarrassing situation.'


Alex's comments have caused outrage amongst breastfeeding advocators


Alex continued:


'Breastfeeding's unnatural. It's the kind of thing that should be done in a quiet and private nursery. We don't want it in public, do we fellas? Ladies, maybe you agree with me?'


The broadcaster went on to mention that there is a time when it's okay to breastfeed in public, but that was 'in the Stone Age when we knew no better.'


Alex's comments went on to spark an online petition calling for him to be taken off the air


He also stated that 'there's plenty of formula out there now, with the same calcium and vitamins in it' and that breastfeeding is just 'not a great look.'


Callers were quick to share their opinion, with some (women included) supporting Alex's comments. Others, however, called in to put Alex in his place, and the airwaves were full of callers hotly debating the comments.


More: The stupidest things that have ever been said about breastfeeding


As of Thursday 13 August, Alex has been suspended, and the BBC confirms he will not present his show on Friday 14 August. A petition on which launched shortly after the show was aired called for the presenter to be taken off the airwaves - and received thousands of supporting signatures.


It has not been confirmed how long the suspension will last, but the presenter has apologised for 'any offence caused'.


GoodtoKnow contacted Alex Dyke for comment but have yet to receive a response. 


You can hear the full extent of Alex's comments by listening to the show, here, and read the petition, here.


What do you think to Alex Dyke's comments? Ill educated or simply airing his opinion? We'd love to hear what you think on the matter. Leave us a comment below.

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Zoe Freeman

Every mammal in this world breastfeeds. The problem seems to be that men think breasts were created solely for them. Breast feeding not only feeds a child but passes on your immune system. I was lucky enough to be able to and believe me I really didn't think I wanted to after nine months of pregnancy. But I was pretty discreet, I fed in public but didn't need to get entire breast out,to look at me with my daughter it just looked like I was cuddling her,nobody was ever aware. All of my friends who have breastfed have been discreet. There will always be women who are very proud and want to show the world but the more people moan about them the more there going to do it. Would you rather hear a baby screaming or a baby happy and quiet ?

David Lomas

Sally, surely you can't be that stupid?? What a ridiculous comparison!

David Lomas

He doesn't sound much of a 'new man' and seemingly leads a somewhat sheltered life, judging by his comments. Breastfeeding in public does not bother me at all - in fact most ladies I see feeding their babies are usually very discreet. Carry on ladies, you're doing a great job!


The man's an idiot. "Breastfeeding is unnatural" Err...really?


Whilst I think he's talking nonsense, his intention was to provoke an open debate and invite comment - kind of the point of radio phone in shows. I'd rather live in a society of free speech where anyone can air their opinions than one where people live in fear of saying something that strays from the accepted social norms because an angry knee-jerk petition will start up! To want to start a petition calling for somebody to lose their job because of a difference in opinion is pretty spiteful - it's surely more insulting to assume 'women' (because all women are the same?) can't take debate and argument?

Jennie Shotton

They don't keep my child alive and happy. They are about bodily waste and doing so in public would do more harm than good. Breastfeeding is neither unsanitary or harmful to anyone.


Ok, so it's a natural function. So is urinating and defecating and you don't do those in public, do you?


My spouse says that it has much to do with the quality of said food source as if it is high the temptation to look at it is overwhelming. But if low the only emotion is the need for a hasty retreat route. What I found was that it is much like a cleavage: if you flash a lot you can hardly complain if they gawk. But if you feed discretely in public without advertising the fact very few are even aware.

Jennie Shotton

But surely that's their problem, not yours. I breastfeed wherever and whenever my baby needs it. Today it was on the bus, the other day it was in the street while pushing my toddlers buggy and last week it was in a restaurant. Sometimes people look, sometimes they don't but either way my baby's happy so I'm happy and usually the public are too because my baby's not crying. As for breastfeeding being unnatural - is that then implying that a plastic bottle is natural? There is so much wrong with what Alex said that I really don't know where to start.

John Scadden

I'm a father of three and Grandfather of 7, all of whom were breastfed. I regularly see women breastfeeding and it doesn't bother me one bit! Given that so many women show as much cleavage as possible, it's a timely reminder of what they're really for!


I think Alex was right. I am a mum of 2 but would never have dreamt about breastfeeding in public. It is embarrassing for many people, men and women

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