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BBC presenter accused of ‘shaming ordinary citizens’ for chasing non-mask wearer down the street on TV

BBC Northern Ireland presenter Stephen Nolan is facing a barrage of criticism after he chased a person down the street for not wearing a mask and broadcast the footage on his TV program.

A hyped up Nolan confronts a man on a forecourt outside a shop in the controversial clip, saying: “We just noticed when you walked in you weren’t wearing a mask. Well, why is that sir?” 

The broadcaster then pursues the man down the street shouting “Do you care? Do you care? Then why did you go in without it?”

“As cases of Covid run rampant in Northern Ireland, why do people not get that it’s the law here to wear a facemask?” Nolan bellows from his TV studio as he tees up his confrontation with the shopper.

Ironically, the man Nolan is chasing is actually wearing a mask throughout the encounter. 

The scene has drawn a storm of criticism on the TV host, with many taking to Twitter to accuse him of bullying behaviour. “This is what we’ve become folks. Junk journalism masquerading as investigative reporting. Nolan didn’t know the guy nor his circumstances. Truly shocking,” data analyst Philip Watson wrote.

Nolan’s antics drew criticism from across Northern Ireland’s community divide with boxer Paddy Barnes, who won two bronze medals representing Ireland in the Olympics, blasting him along with Unionist activist Jamie Bryson.

Barnes asked “who does Nolan think he is?” while Bryson noted that the BBC aren’t an enforcement authority and accused Nolan of “trying to coerce the ‘little people’ on behalf of the powerful.”

Belligerent Nolan adapted a defensive stance in response to the criticism, arguing that he was merely standing up for vulnerable people. However, many weren’t buying his arguments and the criticism continued.

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