BBC weather presenter admits drink-driving
BBC weather presenter who was taken off air after attending Covid anti-lockdown marches admits drink-driving
- Jemma Cooper had twice legal amount of alcohol in her system on Bristol road
- The 49-year-old pleaded guilty when she appeared at Bristol Magistrates’ Court
- Comes just two weeks after she was taken off air for allegedly attending protests
A BBC weather presenter who was taken off air after allegedly attending Covid anti-lockdown marches has admitted to drink-driving.
Jemma Cooper – who appears on Bristol’s Points West programme – had twice the legal amount of alcohol in her system while driving her Fiat 500 on Clifton Down Road in Bristol on August 31.
The 49-year-old pleaded guilty when she appeared at Bristol Magistrates’ Court on December 3, reports Bristol Live.
When tested she was found to have 71 micrograms of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath. The limit is 35.
Magistrates fined her £440, told her to pay a £44 victim surcharge and £85 court costs.
They banned her from driving for 17 months, which can be reduced by 130 days if she completes a specified course by October 23 next year.
Jemma Cooper – who appears on Bristol’s Points West programme – had twice the legal amount of alcohol in her system while driving her Fiat 500 on Clifton Down Road in Bristol on August 31
A BBC spokesperson said: ‘This is a private matter and unconnected to her work for the BBC.’
Ms Cooper was also approached for comment by Bristol Live but did not respond.
It comes just two weeks after the presenter is said to have attended two anti-lockdown marches led by Piers Corbyn. She has now been taken off air.
It is alleged she put in a Covid-denial group the BBC was ‘the devil’ and appears to be in footage of an anti-lockdown march, where Piers Corbyn appears.
After the incident the broadcaster was forced to restate that impartiality guidelines had to be strictly followed and any breach would be dealt with.
But a whistleblower, speaking to the Bristol Post, said Ms Cooper returned to the Points West newsroom after attending a Birmingham demonstration.
The 49-year-old pleaded guilty when she appeared at Bristol Magistrates’ Court on December 3, reports Bristol Live
The insider said: ‘Jemma had arguments with colleagues who felt she was putting people in danger by going out to these events.
‘She said she was adamant Covid is not a real thing. One employee was left in tears by the conversation.
Who is Jemma Cooper?
Miss Cooper grew up in Portishead and joined the BBC back in 1999.
In 2000 she started working for BBC Bristol on their regional website.
But then joined live news to become a weather presenter.
In her heyday she worked on television breakfast and weekend forecasts as well as for the radio.
On a now-archived BBC profile page, she said: ‘Journalism is in my blood and I am confident about telling the weather story every day but weather is a science and I have put a lot of effort in to learn as much as I can about it.’
‘It has become a thing in the newsroom which we call ‘Where’s Wally’.
‘People find Twitter videos of lockdown protests and look for Jemma.’
The broadcaster has said Ms Cooper is still employed by the channel.
She has been off air for three months, but is said to have been helping with news stories.
Youtube footage she is said to appear in, shows a woman matching her likeness nodding at Corbyn.
An email sent to staff at Points West on November 5 said the presenter would not be coming in until they were advised differently.
It read: ‘Dear all, I want to let you know that Jemma Cooper has had to be called away from the office unexpectedly until further notice.’
Last month it was said that she confirmed her identity in an anti-lockdown group called Stand Up Bristol.
She replied: ‘Yes alas I work for the devil at the moment.
‘I joined the corporation in 1999 when I was 28 and fully asleep. Comatose.’
The BBC told MailOnline: ‘Impartiality is the cornerstone of the BBC so we have strict guidelines all staff are expected to follow. Any breach is dealt with swiftly and seriously.’
In guidelines published in October, BBC director general Tim Davie said that BBC News employees should not attend marches about ‘controversial issues’.
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