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53 swear words aired during Children’s Hour

Betar Bangla Radio’s Children’s Hour, presented by two children, is in trouble with Ofcom for playing a song containing 53 swear words.

And the song made it to air during the Sunday afternoon slot because the adult supervising the show was on a prayer and toilet break.

A single complaint was made to the regulator, resulting in an investigation about the incident, which happened on February 21st 2016.

During the programme the nine year olds recounted a range of jokes and riddles to each other and also played various music tracks. During the programme at approximately 14:23 a listener called in to request an urban music track, My Mind is Gone by Meek Mill, which the presenter then played.

During the song there were: 14 instances of “fuck” or “fucking”; 10 instances of “shit”; 28 instances of “nigger”; and 1 instance of “bitch”.

The Licensee expressed its “sincere apologies” for this “very unfortunate lapse on our part” and also accepted that the programme breached Rules 1.14 and 1.16 of the Code. However, it pointed to the fact that this was the first occasion it had breached the Code.

The Licensee also said that while the music track was being broadcast the adult who was “charged with the responsibility of monitoring editorial output” in this case was “by unfortunate coincidence…taking…a bathroom break as well as a prayer break” for a period of “8 to 10 minutes”.

Ofcom concluded that the word Fuck is the most offensive but said Ofcom’s research indicates that the word “nigger” may be acceptable in some limited contexts when children are particularly likely to be listening. The research also found that the words “shit” and “bitch” might be acceptable for broadcast at times.

Betar Bangla Radio broadcasts on 1503AM in the East End of London and has recently had a five year licence extension.

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