The BBC and Mensa have apologised after a spokesman for the society described anyone with an IQ of below 60 as a ''carrot'' live on air. Mensa member Peter Baimbridge made the comments while being interviewed on BBC Breakfast, sparking complaints from viewers. He was being asked about the effectiveness of IQ tests at judging intelligence. ''So most IQ tests will have Mr and Mrs Average scoring 100 and the higher you get, the brighter you are.
"And if your IQ is somewhere around 60 then you
are probably a carrot," Mr Baimbridge said. After the interview with presenters Louise Minchin and Charlie Stayt, some of
the complaints were read out on air. The hosts then apologised at the end of the programme and read out a personal
apology from Mr Baimbridge. British Mensa apologised for the comment, which was ''totally inappropriate
and does not represent the society's official position or view''.
A BBC spokeswoman said: ''A number of viewers contacted BBC Breakfast this
morning, who were offended by comments made by a contributor during a live
interview on the programme. Following the initial item, we broadcast a selection of the complaints
on-air a short time later in the programme, and both presenters apologised at
the end of the programme and read out a personal apology from the contributor.
Clearly we do not condone the comments that were made in any way and
sincerely apologise for the offence caused.''
Mensa chief executive John Stevenage said: ''We would like to apologise for
any offence caused by Peter Baimbridge's remark. It most certainly does not
reflect the views of the society or of our members. The society looks at levels of IQ. However, it fully recognises that it is
not what level of mental ability someone has but what they do with it that is
the real achievement in life. Peter himself very much regrets the comment and would like to offer sincere
apologies to those people offended by the remark.'' According to Mencap, 1.5 million people in the UK have a learning disability.