Dara Ó Briain has deleted a tweet condemning the BBC for commissioning Scarlett Moffatt’s conspiracy theories podcast.
The presenter tweeted about his disappointment the BBC would not make more editions of his astronomy series Stargazing Live but was happy to commission the podcast Scarlett Moffatt Wants To Believe.
Ó Briain tweeted: “Trying not to be depressed today that while the BBC don’t seem to want to make any more Stargazing Live, they will pay Scarlett Moffatt to make a podcast about how she doesn’t believe in the Moon landings.”
The tweet prompted a backlash, with one follower asking why he was “taking out his grievances” on I’m A Celeb winner Moffatt.
He responded: “Because she got paid to do a 10 part series about her favourite conspiracy theories. Scarlett is a lovely person, but that is just nonsense.”
Replying to Ó Briain’s now deleted tweet, David Baddiel said: “I listened to it. There’s a fair bit of Scarlett saying, basically, ‘I just want people to be allowed to question what’s handed down to them, and make their own minds up.’ That was something I heard quite a lot during the making of this," referring to the documentary he made about Holocaust denial.
I listened to it. There's a fair bit of Scarlett saying, basically, "I just want people to be allowed to question what's handed down to them, and make their own minds up." That was something I heard quite a lot during the making of this. https://t.co/KI3q6gKQSF
— David Baddiel (@Baddiel) August 17, 2020
Addressing the negative response, Ó Briain said: “For the record, I’ve met Scarlett, she was a guest on Blockbusters, and she is a lovely person, so please don’t give her any grief. I’ve not tagged her in here. I just think this kind of series is a shame. You’ll get no credit from me for personal abuse, though. OK?”
He later tweeted: “Okay, I’ve made my point. Happy not to let it float around in perpetuity. And I don’t want to fuel grief for anyone, so I’ve deleted it. You all keep well. Oh, and we left mirrors on the moon in 1969 that we still bounce lasers off.”
Hosted by Ó Briain, Brian Cox and Liz Bonnin, Stargazing Live ran from 2011 until 2017.
To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the moon landing, it returned for a one-off special in 2019.
Moffatt’s representatives declined to comment.