The BBC has suspended a star of its Asian Network in a row over online messages littered with lewd comments and racist slurs.
Host Tommy Sandhu, 40, was one of at least four colleagues allegedly part of WhatsApp groups sharing sexist comments as well as homophobic remarks and a derogatory term for Pakistanis.
One of the men in the messaging group allegedly made lewd remarks about Amy Elizabeth Childs, 31, a Radio 1 and 1Xtra producer with aspirations to be a presenter.
Vile sexist comments were also made about female Asian Network staff, including young assistant producer Amanpreet Kaur.
The WhatsApp messaging platform is highly encrypted and supposed to be impossible to crack.
These messages were accidentally linked to a BBC laptop where Miss Kaur stumbled across them.
Sources said the BBC has opened a major investigation and has already taken disciplinary action against some of those involved.
It is not clear how many people were part of the secret messaging groups but they included Asheesh Sharma and Kejal Kamani, two radio producers who routinely join Mr Sandhu on air, and a disc jockey known as DJ Sachy.
It is not known if all the men made comments or if some were just part of the groups.
Mr Sharma has been given a final written warning and Mr Kamani has been fired, it is understood.
DJ Sachy, who has worked at the station as a freelance for years, has been told he will not get any more shifts, insiders said.