Ian Botham faces major criticism over heated interview on shooting

Monday, July 31, 2017

Cricket legend Ian Botham has been branded an "arrogant bully" after an interview given to BBC 5Live this morning.

Botham told journalist Rachel Burden she had "an agenda" and was too "opinionated" during a heated exchange about his new campaign to donate birds shot on his estate to poor and homeless people.

Botham had earlier said he was going to donate 10,000 dead pheasants and partridges to food banks, as part of a scheme from the Country Food Trust.

This morning (July 31), the former England all-rounder explained that, for every bird that's bought under the terms of the scheme, one will be donated to the homeless.

However Botham bristled when asked why game birds are bred simply to be shot, replying "how many chickens are bred with a six-week life?" and laughing when Burden said there was a distinction between the two.

Botham continued by saying "we are trying to help up to 14 million people in this country who go without a proper feed. Every single one that's bought by the public, we will donate one. I don't see what your problem is with that."

When Burden tried to raise the issue of grouse shooting, Botham said it had nothing to do with the issue, before telling "you are so, so wrong. You must stop listening to people like Chris Packham."

The interview has brought a furious reaction on Twitter, as you'll see from the responses below.