The BBC apologised Wednesday after a top national radio presenter triggered protests by saying she could not see black people in the dark. Radio 2 DJ Sarah Kennedy made the comment when, during a discussion about winter road conditions on her morning show, she explained how she had almost run over a pedestrian.

“You know what happened to me yesterday? It was this black guy. It’s lucky he opened his mouth to yawn or do something and I saw him. He was wearing a black hat, black clothes and he was just invisible,” she said.

Listeners used BBC message boards to voice anger at the remark. “This is just one in a long line of irresponsible remarks from Sarah Kennedy, but the BBC don’t have a problem with her,” one said.

Some defended her. “Leaving aside the fact she said ‘until he opened his mouth’, she was making a point that too many pedestrians (and I include myself in that) wear dark clothing at night,” said another.

But the BBC said sorry. “We apologise for any offence given and have spoken to Sarah Kennedy,” said a spokesman.

Earlier this year Kennedy, 57, raised eyebrows by slurring her words during a show.

She notably offered to send “panties” to troops in Afghanistan and referred to the Princess of Wales wearing a “pink polka blot” dress. The BBC said she had a sore throat at the time.

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