Clive Myrie ‘shaken’ after death threats detailed type of bullet ‘to kill me’

Updated

British broadcaster Clive Myrie said he was left “shaken” after receiving death threats which involved “talking about the kind of bullet that he’d use in the gun to kill me”.

The 59-year-old spoke about receiving more racial hatred since becoming a more prominent and “visible” presenter during an interview with Lauren Laverne on BBC Radio 4’s Desert Island Discs.

The Mastermind presenter is set to co-host the BBC’s election night coverage alongside Sunday morning political show presenter Laura Kuenssberg.

Myrie is taking over from previous anchor Huw Edwards, who resigned and left the BBC earlier this year after allegations that he paid a young person for sexually explicit photos.

BAFTA TV Awards 2024 – London
Clive Myrie (Ian West/PA)

He said he had received faeces and “cards in the post with gorillas on”, as well as emails which read: “You shouldn’t be on our TV; you dress like a pimp”.

“But one chap issued death threats, and he was tracked down and prosecuted, and his death threats involved talking about the kind of bullet that he’d use in the gun to kill me and this kind of stuff,” Myrie said.

“I was shaken for a while after I’d been told. I thought it’s just someone showboating. It’s just bravado.

“And then they tracked down this character, and it turned out that he had previous convictions for firearms offences. So (I) thought, ‘Oh my God, what, if anything, might this person have been planning?’.”

Myrie, the son of Windrush generation parents from Jamaica, spoke about how the scandal affected his family.

Royal Windrush reception
Queen Camilla speaks with Clive Myrie and June Sarpong during a reception at Buckingham Palace in London to celebrate the Windrush Generation and mark the 75th anniversary of the arrival of the HMT Empire Windrush in 2023 (Chris Jackson/PA)

In 2017, it began to emerge that hundreds of Commonwealth citizens, many of whom were from the Windrush generation, had been wrongly detained, deported and denied legal rights.

It saw many British citizens, mainly from the Caribbean, denied access to healthcare and benefits and threatened with deportation despite having the right to live in the UK.

Myrie said his brother Lionel “now has the right to remain here”. However, his other brother Peter died from prostate cancer before the situation was sorted.

Becoming emotional, Myrie told host Laverne: “…Peter died before he got his stuff, and it’s just dreadful.

“He wanted to take his daughter to Jamaica, so that she could see her parents homeland and he couldn’t do that, he died of prostate cancer.

“There are still people who haven’t received their compensation. It’s just very, very sad.”

Graham Norton Show – London
Clive Myrie gained a place on the BBC’s journalism trainee scheme in 1988 (Matt Crossick/PA)

Born in Bolton, Myrie studied Law at the University of Sussex before gaining a place on the BBC’s journalism trainee scheme in 1988.

“I didn’t want to be seen as a black journalist,” he said on Desert Island Discs.

“I wanted to be a journalist who just happens to be black. I didn’t want the BBC to fall into lazy thinking, which was so easy at the time,” he said

“Notting Hill Carnival – send the black guy, riot out on the street in some inner city area – send the black guy. I didn’t want that I wanted to do those stories.

“…I didn’t want my colour to define who I am, and the BBC understood that.”

Clive Myrie and Laura Kuenssberg
Clive Myrie and Laura Kuenssberg (Jeff Overs/BBC/PA)

Myrie is now set to co-anchor the BBC’s election night coverage for the first time.

“(It is) a lot of pressure, and there’s a nervous energy there as well, which is wonderful,” he said.

“I’ve never presented an election programme in the UK before. I’m getting my head around a lot of statistics.

“But you know, we want to try and make it fun too; it is not just going to be a night for geeks. I hope it’s not just a night for political geeks.

“I want people to be able to tune in and get a sense of where this country is going and the buzz of being on the front line.

“This is the front line of what it means to be British regarding the elections.”

Myrie said the adrenaline rush of the July 4 election will keep him up until the “wee small hours” of the morning.

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