Capital North East’s Drive presenter has been found in breach of Ofcom rules for discussing sex in public places.
One complaint was received about the station saying the discussion was inappropriate for the time of day (5.30pm). The presenter asked listeners if they had seen CCTV footage released from behind a nightclub, describing it as a “hotspot for people…to seal the deal”. He added that he was “all for risky business… the more risky the better”.
He told how he and his partner had “sealed the deal” in a public spa. He then encouraged listeners to call or text and tell him the places they thought looked like “a good spot” and “the most extravagant place you and your other half got down to business”.
Between music tracks, the presenter asked for more contributions from listeners:
“[tell me] the strangest or most extravagant place that you have sealed the deal”;
“I want to join the mile-high club… maybe you’ve actually done it there…let us know how you got on”; and
“Where’s the weirdest place that you have ‘sealed the deal’?”
In total, contributions from ten different listeners were aired, in which they told of the places they had “sealed the deal”. For example: “The local rugby pitch and we did it over the try lines and my boyfriend then could tell his
mates that he had scored”.
Before moving on from the topic, the presenter spoke to a caller who said he was part of “the mile-high club” and had used a blanket for “other intentions” than sleep.
The discussion lasted in total nearly five minutes across the 30-minute segment.
The Licensee said the presenter had avoided explicit language and description. It added that there was no direct reference to sex and that each bit of material was relatively brief and mild in content, and unlikely to have been understood by younger children. However, it acknowledged that the subject matter, and the repeated euphemisms may not have been suitable for some age groups.
The Licensee said that senior management had identified the content shortly after broadcast and fully briefed the presenter on the need for extreme care when dealing with such material. In addition, the entire programming team had since received refresher training on the Code.
However, Ofcom decided the overall tone and cumulative effect of the language used would have increased the possibility that children in the audience would have understood the theme, and said this was not an appropriate topic of discussion for younger listeners. The regulator concluded that the material was inappropriately scheduled and breached Rule 1.3.