Channel 4's Rachel Riley breaks silence over calls to be axed: 'Wish to undo any offence caused'

Channel 4's Rachel Riley breaks silence over calls to be axed: 'Wish to undo any offence caused'

Rachel Riley hits back at BBC's Kirsty Wark

Lauren Williams

By Lauren Williams

Published: 17/04/2024

- 18:26

The Countdown star was accused of Islamophobia after suggesting the recent Sydney attack was linked to Islamic extremism

Rachel Riley returned to social media after Channel 4 viewers called for the Countdown star to be fired after her comments over the Sydney mall knife attack.

The incident left six people dead over the weekend, with the broadcaster noting that Riley had been reminded “of her obligations as a contributor to Channel 4 programming”.

A knifeman – 40-year-old Joel Cauchi - went on a rampage at Westfield Bondi Junction, who police have said suffers from mental health issues.

Riley originally tweeted: “For six months now, people have been out on our streets proudly calling for the ‘Infitada Revolution’. If you want to know what ‘Globalised Infitada’ looks like, the Sydney Mall.”

She quickly deleted the post after many claimed she was being Islamophobic, and went on to post a lengthy apology.

A few hours after her original apology, she returned to her social media for further clarification and added: “I’ve thought about this all day and deleted the original tweet, so just one more post on the matter.

Rachel Riley

Rachel issued another response after fans called for her to be axed from Countdown


“I’m sorry to those I offended. My post was ambiguous and although it was genuinely designed to call out calls for violence, it wasn’t the right place or time which made it easier to misinterpret and I apologise.

“I know nuance isn’t popular online, and even though I’m certain many of the people calling this out are the same people who’ve been trying to shut me up or have me fired for the last 6 years.

“Who would happily join in the calls for violence against their enemies, I’m also sure there re those who don’t fall into that camp, and it is to them I write this now.

“I too have been subject to assault in recent months and it was a Muslim woman and her husband who came to see if I was ok afterwards. I’m grateful to them and wish to undo any offence caused to the community.”

Rachel Riley

Rachel issued three statements after her initial comments


In her original apology, she noted that her tweet had been “misunderstood” and noted: “My aim was to highlight the weekly calls for 'intifada' being tolerated in London and around the world, which in actuality means violence on our street.

“Attacks on Jews have recently become repackaged as 'resistance' in some circles, and we should in one voice condemn all acts of violence, whoever the perpetrators and whoever the victims. I am sorry if this message was misunderstood, that was not my intention.”

GB News has also reached out to Channel 4 for a comment.

Despite many calling for Riley to be sacked from her role on Countdown, fans of the maths whiz were quick to defend as one responded on X: “You are doing great work Rachel and are an important voice in this world.”

Rachel Riley

Rachel Riley issues another apology


“You’re a class act, @RachelRileyRR and anyone who knows you knows exactly what you meant,” another added before a third said: “Never apologise for your opinion Rachel then the nay sayers win.”

One exclaimed: “Send my love to Twinkle toes and the little ladies.”

“You are a good person,” another said before a sixth praised: “Well done. Always hard to do this.”

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