Chris Moyles controversies

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Throughout his career on radio, Chris Moyles, and to a lesser extent the rest of his team, have been involved in a few controversial incidents, some of which earned Moyles a warning from the authorities.

Fellow celebrities

In 1997, not long after he joined BBC Radio 1, Moyles responded to John Peel calling him "DLT [Dave Lee Travis] in waiting" by saying Peel was "Kenny Everett in waiting, because Kenny Everett is dead and it's only a matter of time before he [Peel] pops his clogs". According to Moyles, Peel later approached him at a Radio 1 DJ gathering, pinched his bottom and asked him to buy him a drink. He and Moyles talked and found they liked each other. Chris was among many Radio 1 DJs to pay tribute on air to Peel when he died in October 2004.

In 1998, after a lacklustre appearance on TV show Never Mind the Buzzcocks, Chris and the show's presenter Mark Lamarr were involved in an argument after Moyles appeared to slag off the TV show on his radio programme. Lamarr responded by saying "That fat pig. I'd like to rip the apple out of his mouth and f***ing slap him." Moyles then apparently told celebrity pal Natalie Appleton (of All Saints) not to waste her time going on his TV show. Lamarr then devoted an entire show to slagging off Moyles, including saying "Die, you oily pig in a dunce hat." Moyles said: "Lamarr obviously hadn't heard my show, if he had he'd have known that all I'd said was that I was crap on Buzzcocks. Team captain Sean Hughes totally ignored me and Mark Lamarr hardly spoke to me at all." Moyles explained. "As for Natalie Appleton deciding to cancel her appearance because of me, that's ridiculous. I don't even know her." "But I don't care what Lamarr says. When he did some shows on Radio 1, he was about as popular as Hitler."

In 2002, Moyles threatened long-time enemy Capital DJ Dr. Fox on air, saying he would "tear off his head and poo down his neck". Also in that year, he jokingly said he would take the virginity of singer Charlotte Church when she turned 16. Church later appeared on the show, and the Christmas show was even broadcast from her mother's pub one year.


In February 2006, Moyles was forced to apologise when he said to a caller on Car Park Catchphrase "you've got three kids from some fuckin'...". He apologised profusely for this incident. Elton John swore a few times on air when he was a guest on the show. Listen to the clip here.

Homophobia accusations

In May 2006, Moyles rejected a ringtone in a feature on the show, saying that it was 'gay'. The BBC rejected complaints made by outraged listeners, saying that the word 'gay' can also mean 'lame' or 'rubbish'. LGBT organisation Stonewall marched with placards calling for Moyles' dismissal in June 2006, and their chief executive Ben Summerskill quoted Moyles' on-air dismissal of the incident in the Guardian newspaper, claiming that Moyles said "Yeah, I'm homophobic, I don't like the gays. Sorry, it just does my head in. We have a token gay on the show!"

Moyles claimed in The Difficult Second Book that his comments were sarcastic, and taken out of context. Stonewall also claimed that Moyles was not helping young people who were struggling to come out. Moyles responded in his book by saying that it wasn't his job to help young homosexuals to come out, and also mentioned that Summerskill had disparagingly referred to his weight, and that wasn't helping young people struggling with their body image.


In 2008, it was revealed that Chris Moyles earned £630,000 per year for presenting the breakfast show, but he revealed that he had taken a 20% pay cut the following year. In September 2010, he ranted on-air about having not been paid in two months. This led to DJ Chris Evans claiming that Moyles had 'lost focus' and wasn't as good as he used to be.


In January 2009, Moyles was talking about his forthcoming appearance on the BBC's family history programme Who Do You Think You Are? and joked: "I went off to Ireland and other places to film and unlike a lot of the Who Do You Think You Are? shows I didn't go to Auschwitz. Pretty much everyone goes there whether or not they're Jewish. They just seem to pass through there on their way to Florida". The BBC censured Chris for this remark.

Tax avoidance

In 2012, it was revealed that Moyles was involved in a tax avoidance scheme. In February 2014, Moyles admitted in a statement that he took full responsibility and had learned a valuable lesson after a court found that he had tried to avoid up to £1million in tax in a legal scheme which involved him saying that he was a second-hand car salesman.