The BBC News presenter has published an open letter to the ‘expensive French restaurant’ she experienced the abuse last month, describing the incident as ‘distressing’
BBC News presenter Tina Daheley has opened up about being subjected to “hateful, racist” language while enjoying a meal out.
The broadcaster was dining with a friend last month when a “white, middle-aged man” repeatedly used a disgusting racial slur.
Tina, 40, has now shared a letter she has since written to the restaurant in question, after being “too upset” at the time to confront the offensive diner sat by her.
In the letter, the presenter muses whether the diner was deliberately trying to provoke her when loudly discussing the current racism scandal in English cricket and using the racist slur beginning with a P several times.
The journalist also noted that the diner in question was behaving in a manner so disgusting that at one point, his own wife urged him to stop.
Sharing a copy of her eloquent correspondence with the unnamed “expensive French restaurant” on social media, the BBC star recalls the incident taking place on November 5.
“After weeks of thinking about this, I finally decided to write to the restaurant where this happened,” Tina told her 65,800 followers on Instagram on Wednesday.
“I’ve relived this moment many time overs in my head wishing I’d handled things differently and confronted them, but I was so upset I knew I’d burst into tears if I did!”
Tina then explained that she had redacted the restaurant’s name, giving them a chance to respond first, and claimed she was making the letter public to show racism “shouldn’t be tolerated”.
She continued in the caption, emotionally concluding with: “It was a painful reminder that as a grown a***, successful woman eating in an expensive French restaurant, I was still made to feel exactly the same as I did walking to school 30 years ago when I’d hear the same word shouted at me from across the street.”
Tina’s letter in full reads: “Dear [redacted], I’m writing to you following a distressing incident that took place in [redacted] on the evening of Friday November 5.
“We had a dinner reservation for two at 7pm and when we arrived there was a table of four sitting to the left of us. For the purposes of identifying them – they were two white, middle-aged couples.
“The man sitting directly to my left facing the window repeatedly used an extremely offensive racist word starting with the letter P.”
The letter continues: “They were discussing a story dominating the news headlines at the time – racism in England cricket and the consistent abuse suffered by Azeem Rafiq.”
Dave Benett/Getty Images)
Dave Benett/Getty Images for Dan)
“He was justifying the use of the word and while everyone is entitled to their own opinion, the use of hateful, racist language is unacceptable.
“He didn’t use it once, but repeatedly throughout their dinner, even after his wife urged him to stop, after seeing how shocked we were.”
“I considered confronting them, but was so upset I couldn’t bring myself to it. Perhaps he was doing it to provoke me, (I’m a BBC news presenter), perhaps he was annoyed that he was sitting next to two women of colour, perhaps he didn’t even consider us.
The powerful note concludes with: “After weeks of thinking about it and feeling powerless to do anything about it, I’m bringing it to your attention in the hope that you can take action.”
“I don’t think this behaviour should go unchallenged. In 2021 there is no place for it.”
Radio One DJ Clara Amfo also left a comment, writing: “Ah Tina, I’m so sorry. Sadly can’t say I’m shocked. This shouldn’t be yours to carry x”
Davina McCall added: “Hey you. I’m really sorry, this is not f***ing ok . It just isn’t . And u have absolutely done the right thing .”