Community station in breach for swearing
Halton Community Radio has been found guilty of breaching the broadcast code after broadcasting one song containing swear words.
A complainant alerted Ofcom to offensive language broadcast at 08:10 during the song “Billionaire” by Travie McCoy. The regulator noted that after three seconds of this song being transmitted, the following lyrics were broadcast “I wanna be a billionaire so fu**ing bad”.
At this point, the volume of the song was turned down, and the presenter said “I didn’t realise that swore then, I didn’t realise that swore. We must sort that one out, won’t we? I do apologise for that”.
The volume of the song was then turned up. After a further 40 seconds the following lyrics were broadcast: “…and a bunch of names that ain’t never had sh*t…”.
The song was then stopped, and the presenter said the following: “Well I’m certainly not going to play that one again – take that one off the system, we do apologise”
Ofcom investigated the incident and asked the station for their comments. Halton FM described it as an honest mistake on the part of an experienced presenter.It explained that the song, which had been played in response to a listener request, had been stored on an external hard-drive and that “Both the track title and artist’s name were innocuous and gave no hint as to the content.”
Because the song was played at 8:10 and a second swear word followed shortly after the first, Ofcom considered the programme was in breach of Rule 1.16.