In the latest issue of the Broadcast Bulletin from Ofcom, a report of complaints against Iain Lee’s LBC programme was published. Two listeners complained that the word ?c*nt? was used by a caller to the show during a late night phone-in on July 30.
Prior to receiving any formal complaints from listeners, LBC had already alerted Ofcom to the incident. The broadcaster explained that the call had been ?dumped? (the station operates a permanent 7 second delay which allows it to ?dump? unsuitable material). Unfortunately, although the delay unit had previously been tested and found to be working correctly, as a result of a technical fault, the dump facility removed the offending word from the DAB transmission, but not the FM transmission. When the problem was identified, the presenter apologised for any offence and did not take any further calls to air while the matter was investigated.
The station thought that because of the time of day and the likely audience, most listeners would have understood that this was a technical error and accepted the subsequent apology. Nevertheless, it said that the incident was regrettable and it had taken all reasonable steps to make sure this did not happen again.
The word ?c*nt? is amongst those considered the most offensive in research into swearing carried out by Ofcom. However Ofcom appreciated the broadcaster?s prompt action alerting them to the incident and accept that it occurred as a result of a technical error. In the light of this, and the fact that the broadcaster apologised of its own accord, Ofcom considered the matter resolved.