Suffolk: BBC Radio Suffolk apologises over controversial debate on breastfeeding

IPSWICH: A radio debate about breastfeeding in public has today resulted in an apology from the BBC.

The organisation said sorry for comments made by presenter James Hazell during his programme on BBC Radio Suffolk on Monday.

Mr Hazell’s programme included a discussion on breastfeeding in public and he caused offence to some listeners when he compared it to having sex in public.

Ipswich mum of two Laura Cardwell was incensed by the comparison, which she called “crass”, and said feeding a baby is the most natural thing in the world.

A BBC spokesman said: “We apologise if James Hazell’s comments have caused offence to some of the audience. The comment was intended to stimulate a debate around the issues of breastfeeding in public and give listeners an opportunity to discuss the issue openly and to voice opinions for both sides of the argument.”

Ms Cardwell. of Larchcroft Road, who featured on the programme, spoke to The Evening Star of her anger following the broadcast.

She said: “I was recently featured in the Evening Star as part of Suffolk’s campaign to encourage breast feeding friendly businesses. Following this I was asked to do an interview on James Hazell’s morning show for BBC Radio Suffolk. I listened to the programme later with interest, only to find what should have been a positive affirmation for breastfeeding mothers was turned into crass and ignorant nonsense.

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“I was appalled. There is nothing more natural than nursing your baby.

“Everyone is entitled to their opinion, but surely the point of being a radio host is to broadcast issues and listen to listeners’ feedback, not to push the host’s views on to us.”

In an e-mail to the Star, listener Emma Cracknell said she was horrified to hear the presenter comparing mothers’ breastfeeding to public love-making.

She added: “How on earth can anyone start a debate on what’s acceptable to do in public when one of the comparisons is the normal method of nourishing an infant? This is a disgrace.

“The future health of our generations can be determined by how they are fed as an infant.”

n What do you think about the row? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or you can send an e-mail to