Thursday 23 November 2017

RTE suspends Baz over late-night crash

Luke Byrne

Luke Byrne

RTE presenter Baz Ashmawy has been suspended for a month without pay after allegedly crashing his car late at night while under the influence of alcohol.

The 2fm weekend breakfast host had been in talks over his job as co-presenter with Lucy Kennedy after he reportedly downed beer and cocktails before crashing in Dublin last weekend.

He was arrested and charged on suspicion of drink driving following the incident.

Last night, the national broadcaster released a statement explaining its decision to suspend the presenter. It said that given the age profile of the 2fm audience and the number of people who listen to shows such as Mr Ashmawy's, "this is something that RTE cannot ignore".

It said that the presenter would not contest any charges brought against him, that he has accepted the error of his actions and that he has apologised to all concerned.

"We are relieved that the incident in question was a relatively minor one and, unlike many more serious car crashes every year where lives are lost, thankfully, no one was injured on this occasion," the broadcaster said.

"We believe this suspension is warranted to highlight the unacceptable nature of drink driving and the high-profile nature of Mr Ashmawy's position on 2fm."

When contacted, RTE would not clarify the basis on which Mr Ashmawy was suspended, given that the incident happened while he was off-duty.

According to the company's drugs and alcohol policy, "corrective action" should be taken if a staff member could "damage the good reputation of the organisation" while under the influence.

Mr Ashmawy shot to fame as the face of RTE programme 'How Low Can You Go'.

Irish Independent

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