British journalist Martin Bashir has quit his US TV role over his remarks savaging former US vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin.

His suggestion Palin should eat faeces ignited an uproar.

On November 15, during his regular afternoon show on the liberal news channel MSNBC, Bashir referred to her comments comparing the US debt to China to slavery.

He described her as a world-class idiot and America's resident dunce, then suggested that someone ought to defecate in her mouth, a punishment historically administered to slaves by particularly cruel slave-owners.


The 50-year-old later apologised for his "ill-judged and deeply offensive" outburst, then went on an extended holiday. He has now announced his resignation.

Bashir made his name in 1995 by conducting a deeply personal interview with Diana, Princess of Wales, for the BBC's Panorama.

He later interviewed divisive figures including Michael Barrymore, Jeffrey Archer and the five suspects in the murder of London teenager Stephen Lawrence.

In 2003, he made an documentary about Michael Jackson which highlighted the singer's friendships with children, leading in large part to Jackson's trial for sexual abuse.

- Independent