Radio One DJ Scott Mills' show investigated over 'sexist and derogatory' Essex girl jokes

Tom Powell
Marathon show: Scott Mills took part in the 24-hour show to raise money for Comic Relief: Jonathan Brady/PA

Radio One DJ Scott Mills’ show is being investigated over “sexist and derogatory” jokes about Essex girls.

Broadcasting watchdog Ofcom has confirmed it is looking into the presenter’s 24-hour marathon show for Comic Relief following complaints from shocked listeners.

Jokes included: “What’s the first thing an Essex girl does in the morning? Goes home” and “Why does an Essex girl wear knickers? To keep her ankles warm.”

The Only Way is Essex (TOWIE) star Bobby Norris delivered the quips during a guest appearance on the show.

DJ Mills had warned listeners: “I’d like to point out, before anyone complains, this is a person from Essex, living in Essex, on a show about Essex.”

“I’m enjoying this so much,” added the DJ, who was joined by co-presenter Chris Stark.

Scott Mills (left) and guest Bobby Norris, who told the jokes (PA)

Other jokes, which were sent in by listeners, included: “What’s the difference between an Essex girl and an ironing board? Occasionally you have trouble getting the legs apart on an ironing board” and “What does an Essex girl say after her doctor tells her she is pregnant? Is it mine?”

An Ofcom spokesperson said some viewers found the jokes "sexist and derogatory", adding: “We’re investigating whether this programme breached our rules on generally accepted standards.”

A BBC Radio 1 spokesperson said: “No offence was intended by the jokes that were broadcast during Radio 1’s 24 hour Lolathon to raise money for Comic Relief.”

Last year, more than 3,500 people signed a petition to get the term “Essex girl” removed from the Oxford English Dictionary (OED).

The campaign was launched by a pair of City workers who wanted to challenge the “lazy, tired stereotype”.

However, OED bosses decided the term would not be removed, saying offensive definitions are “simply a recognition of existence”.

“Essex girl” entered the OED in 1997 and is defined as “a supposed type of young woman… variously characterised as unintelligent, promiscuous and materialistic”.