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DOI 2013: Jason Gardiner to be axed after sick paralysis joke?

Alison Potter
By Alison Potter Published on 31 January 2013

DOI 2013 Jason Gardiner to be axed after sick paralysis joke?

Australian choreographer Jason Gardiner is known for his sharp-tongued comments on Dancing On Ice.

There was uproar after he compared Lauren Goodger to a walrus, but now he’s pushed the boundaries of good taste even further by telling Shayne Ward that he looked like he had locked-in syndrome.

On Sunday night’s episode of DOI, Jason told the X Factor winner that his performance to Ricky Martin’s hit Livin’ La Vida Loca with partner Maria Filippov was more like “Livin’ la vida locked-in syndrome”.

He was referring to the tragic condition - usually caused by stroke or brain injury - that leaves victims paralysed except for their eye muscles.

Viewers immediately took to Twitter in response to his latest ill-judged remark and media watchdog OFCOM received 24 official complaints.

Fans have said that the 41-year-old’s jibes are inappropriate and are calling for ITV to sack him.

Locked-in syndrome has been a provocative issue in recent years, after several high profile cases were reported in the press.

Sufferer Tony Nicklinson battled in vain for consent to have doctors legally end the life he called “pure torture”.

Outraged, the Stroke Association’s Patrick Olszowski told The Sun: “All stroke survivors deserve support, compassion and understanding.”

Anthea Turner - who was voted out of the show on Sunday - said: “That’s the worst. I don’t think he thought that one through.”

After seeing the outrage on Twitter in response to his comment, initially Jason was reluctant to back down.

He tried to defend himself, tweeting: “I think it’s good to bring taboo topics into the open.”

But as viewers called on ITV to dump him from the show, he later made a full retraction, telling The Sun: “I sincerely apologise for any offence caused. That was never my intention.”

by Alison Potter