Former Radio 1 DJ and Saturday Superstore presenter Mike Read has apologised for his reggae-influenced song in support of UKIP and has asked for it to be withdrawn from sale.
Read said he was sorry for “unintentionally causing offence” with the song UKIP Calypso which he sings in a fake Caribbean accent.
“I apologise unreservedly if anyone has taken offence. I’ve asked the record company to withdraw the single immediately,” he told BBC London radio today.
“I don’t have a racist bone in my body. I work across all cultures and creeds, I travel the world. It was just meant to be a bit of fun.
“People are very very very quick to take offence now at something that years ago would have been deemed to be a bit of satire and a bit of fun.
“But now with social media everybody can assume that you meant something appalling by it, which of course I didn’t. I’ve got so many chums out in the Caribbean. I’ve spent a lot of time out there.”
Performed by Read’s band The Independents and sung by the 67-year-old in what appears to be an attempt at a Jamaican accent, lyrics from the song include:
“The leaders committed a cardinal sin,
Opened the borders let them all come in,
Illegal immigrants in every town,
Stand up and be counted Blair and Brown”
It then leads into the chorus:
“Oh yes! When we take charge,
And the new Prime Minister is Farage,
We can trade with the world again,
When Nigel is at Number Ten.”
Initially Read defended his song after complaints about his use of calypso music to promote an anti-immigration argument.
“It was never meant to be remotely racist,” he said earlier this week “It’s an old-fashioned political satire … you can’t sing a calypso with a Surrey accent.”
But now he appears to have had a change of heart – and spoiled UKIP leader Nigel Farage’s ambition of getting a UKIP chart number one.