'Beyond the pale' | BBC presenter allegedly sent pics of celeb's genitals to employees

BBC presenter allegedly sent pics of celeb's genitals to employees

A BBC presenter allegedly sent photos of a celebrity’s genitals to colleagues and threatened to send more if they didn’t book the celeb for his show.

Reports from the Irish Times claim that BBC Radio 5 Live host Stephen Nolan, reportedly 'sent photos of Stephen Bear's penis to colleagues' telling them to book him for his show.

Nolan allegedly told colleagues that more photos of Bear's genitals would be sent to their phones if they didn't book him for his TV talk show, Nolan Live. 

Stephen Bear is a former Celebrity Big Brother contestant who last year was jailed for 21 months for posting footage online of himself having sex with a former girlfriend - a case of ‘revenge porn’.

Bear had just won the reality show at the time when Nolan compelled employees to book him on his show, allegedly warning them that they would receive explicit photos of the disgraced celeb if they didn’t do so.

In documents leaked to the Irish Times, Nolan reportedly said: "If I don't get Bear tomorrow night I'm sending more bear photos." 

One complainant described the image-sending as a "deliberate attempt to undermine and embarrass me", the outlet said.

The same person reported later receiving a second, new photo of Bear “naked” and aroused, which caused them further distress.

'Beyond the pale' was the phrase one recipient used to describe the explicit images.

The BBC said it was probing the claims against Nolan but would not comment further on the matter.

Adam Smyth, Director of BBC Northern Ireland said: "There are important considerations of fairness and confidentiality involved in the handling of any workplace related complaint. 

“We take these obligations seriously - and in the interests of everyone involved. It is for these reasons that we cannot comment on the specifics of any individual case, who/what it may have involved or its outcome."

The issue with toxic workers

The Irish Times’ report also heard from a source who claimed Nolan was ‘untouchable’ within the BBC, which raises the notion that the presenter is confident of getting away with inappropriate conduct. And if so, there’s a risk of this behaviour rubbing off on colleagues.

When you imagine how a toxic work culture begins, you might assume there are a myriad of complex factors that drive this toxicity, and you would be right in thinking this. But sometimes, a toxic work environment can come about from a single ‘bad egg’ in the company – one person who creates an air of negativity, or in worse cases, discrimination and harassment.

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It shouldn’t be underestimated the negative impact of a single toxic worker in your organisation. A Harvard Business School study refers to these 'bad eggs' as ‘toxic workers’, saying they often engage in behaviour that is harmful to the people in the organisation, or the organisation itself. This can manifest in obvious overt behaviours, but can also exist in more subtle ways too.

You never really know what an employee is going to be like until they’ve joined your business, and even after some time has passed, bad behaviour can go unnoticed. Many executives speak of the perils of recruiting the wrong people and facing potentially devastating or expensive consequences – illustrating the importance of patient and diligent recruitment. As American leadership author and speaker Simon Sinek once said: “Leadership is absolutely about inspiring action, but it is also about guarding against mis-action.”

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