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BBC radio host apologises over women should 'keep their knickers on' comment in debate about Ched Evans

A BBC radio presenter who said women should "keep their knickers on" while discussing convicted rapist and footballer Ched Evans has apologised on air.

Nick Conrad, a talk show host on BBC Radio Norfolk, made the comments during a live debate about the former Sheffield United striker, who has provoked an outcry after returning to train with the club.

After criticism from some listeners and rape campaigners, he began this morning's show by saying sorry.

He came under pressure on social networking sites for him to apologise on his programme.

Mr Conrad, 29, said: "I made it clear on several occasions that rape is an abhorrent and inexcusable crime and that women who are victims are in no way to blame.

"Some of my comments in one section of the discussion were ill-judged and were offensive to some. I apologise to anybody who was offended by what I said."

In his original comments, Mr Conrad said: "I think women need to be more aware of a man's sexual desire that when you're in that position that you are about to engage in sexual activity there's a huge amount of energy in the male body, there's a huge amount of will and intent, and it's very difficult for many men to say no when they are whipped up into a bit of a storm.

"And it's the old adage about if you yank a dog's tail, then don't be surprised when it bites you.

"Or you can't keep snakes in the garden and think they'll only bite your neighbours."

Rape Crisis England and Wales said Mr Conrad's remarks were the latest example of a public figure making "ignorant comments".

Some Twitter users compared him to a real-life Alan Partridge - a reference to the Norfolk-based comedy radio presenter's politically-incorrect comments.

Mr Conrad went on to suggest feminists had "hijacked" or "jumped on" the debate and appear to be "anti-men".

"The onus has to be on the men, and the men have to be condemned if a woman says no and they persist, then that's absolutely abhorrent," he added.

"But they then (feminists), in their fury against men and masculinity, they actually forget to stop and say if you tease, if you jump into bed naked with a man, if you give him all the signals and then he acts upon them, then you are partially responsible."

He concluded his comments saying: "What I'm trying to say is that women also have to understand that when a man's given certain signals he'll wish to act upon them and if you don't wish to give out the wrong signals, it's best, probably, to keep your knickers on and not get into bed with him. Does that make sense?"

A BBC Radio Norfolk spokeswoman pointed out that the discussion had included a contributor from the End Violence Against Women Coalition.

She said: "As part of a wide-ranging discussion where Nick invited the listeners to talk frankly about the Ched Evans case, he made it clear that rape is an abhorrent act.

"BBC management has told Nick that some of his comments were very ill-judged and he has apologised for any offence that may have been caused."

PA Media