EDEN CONFIDENTIAL: BBC star Evan Davis is at the centre of an impartiality row as his Radio 4 show failed to ‘remind listeners’ about ‘opposing opinions’ on legalising cannabis – amid Prince Harry’s ‘irresponsible’ comments about using psychedelics
- Complaint ‘partially upheld’ over BBC Evan Davis Radio 4 debate on cannabis
- Show should have reminded listeners of opposing opinions on drug legalisation
Irresponsible Prince Harry is not the only one who seems to think illegal drugs are an unalloyed joy.
I can disclose that BBC star Evan Davis has found himself at the centre of another impartiality row after his Radio 4 show failed to ‘remind listeners’ about ‘opposing opinions’ on the issue of legalising cannabis.
The Corporation has ‘partially upheld’ a complaint over an interview Davis conducted with a professor who was in favour of legalising cannabis, on Radio 4’s PM show.
This comes after Prince Harry spoke about his recreational use of illegal drugs during a intimate chat with a toxic trauma expert on Saturday.
After Evan’s programme aired in October, a listener complained about ‘the absence of an alternative view’ and a ‘lack of impartiality on the part of the presenter’.
BBC star Evan Davis has found himself at the centre of another impartiality row after his Radio 4 show failed to ‘remind listeners’ about ‘opposing opinions’ on the issue of legalising cannabis
Prince Harry spoke about his recreational use of illegal drugs during a intimate chat with a toxic trauma expert on Saturday
Professor Akwasi Owusu-Bempah, of Toronto University, had been asked by Davis whether Canada’s move to decriminalise cannabis had ‘worked’.
The academic had replied, ‘Do it now, those are my three words’, which prompted laughter from Davis, who’s nicknamed Tinsel T**s on account of his piercings.
The BBC’s executive complaints unit looked at whether the programme met ‘BBC standards for due impartiality’.
Complaints bosses said while the overall piece reflected the negatives as well as positives of changing the law, it added that in the final exchange ‘there was a need to remind listeners of the existence of opposing opinions’.
The ECU said: ‘But in posing his final question, he invited an opinion on a matter of controversy. Professor Owusu-Bempah having expressed unqualified support for immediate legislation, in the ECU’s view there was a need to remind listeners of the existence of opposing opinions.’
Last month, the BBC apologised after Davis was accused of making ‘perfunctory efforts’ to challenge a trans guest who accused JK Rowling of transphobia.
During the Duke of Sussex’s live streamed discussion with therapist Dr Gabor Mate on Saturday, the trauma expert spoke of the way people used drugs to deal with problems in their lives before asking Harry about his reasons for using drugs including cocaine, cannabis and psychedelics.
The Duke of Sussex told how using cannabis – a Class B drug – ‘really helped’ him to deal with mental health issues following the death of his mother.
Prince Harry has admitted using psychedelics – magic mushrooms, psilocybin (the active component of magic mushrooms) and ayahuasca, a plant-based psychedelic from the leaves of a shrub – in an attempt to help him heal from ‘grief’
He also talked about his ‘positive’ experience of psychedelic drug ayahuasca, saying it ‘brought me a sense of relaxation, release, comfort, a lightness that I managed to hold on to for a period of time’.
The prince said alcohol was also ‘more of a social thing’ and complained about peer pressure around drinking.
Prince Harry admitted taking cocaine as a teenager, smoking weed and trying magic mushrooms in the home of actor Courtney Cox in his explosive memoir Spare.
But campaigners criticised Harry for talking about his drug use, saying he is sending a worrying message to young people.
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