Local radio station keeps getting hijacked by song about masturbation
The communications regulator is hunting a radio pirate who has repeatedly hijacked the airwaves of a local station with a deliberately offensive song about masturbation.
The Winker’s Song, a 1970s ditty by an artist going by the name Ivor Biggun, has been illegally forced onto to the output of Mansfield 103.2 at least eight times in the last month.
Ofcom said it was taking the incident “extremely seriously” and its engineers were working closely with the radio station to trace and identify the pirate.
Listeners were last subjected to the song, which uses the word “wanker” 36 times, this weekend during a live family broadcast from Mansfield’s Party In The Market event.
It is believed the rogue broadcaster could be using a small transmitter to play the adult theme on the same frequency, overriding the station’s scheduled programming.
Tony Delahunty, managing director of Mansfield 103.2, said: “Some people have told me that their children have started humming the song in the car.
“We have had calls from people who have found it hilarious, while some have raised their concerns, including our competitors, and a lot of people in the industry are aghast at how difficult it is to stop these people.”
Speaking to BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, he added: “There’s is absolutely nothing we could do about it and we’re trying very hard to do something about it.
“We are told by Ofcom who are investigating the matter, that you only need, and this is the frightening thing, a small transmitter and if you can get near where there is an outside broadcast or a signal and you can overpower that signal [and] you’re on the airwaves.”
He claimed the incidents raised the potential for a more serious hijacking of a radio station. “This is a clown but it exposes a situation that is available for, who knows a terrorist, that type of person, some idiot who wants to put emergency messages on. It could become an awful lot worse. The big problem is you can’t catch them …
“I want it to stop, because it could be inflicting a very nasty message to very young kids and their parents could be annoyed.”
Ofcom said maliciously causing radio interference was a criminal offence carrying a potential sentence of two years in prison and an unlimited fine.
But a spokesman said “it doesn’t happen that often” and requires specialist knowledge and equipment. “You need quite a high-powered transmitter to be able to go over the levels that the station is broadcasting at in to interrupt their frequencies.
“There is also quite a lot of technical information that you would also need to be able to do something like this. I don’t think it is as easy as he [Delahunty] makes out.”
He added: “We have a spectrum enforcement team who look after our airwaves and make sure they are kept free from interference, whether it is deliberate or accidental, and we have strong enforcement powers.
“Where radio stations broadcast content that is deemed harmful or offensive, under the Digital Economy Act we could suspend that station. We did it last week, not because it was hacked, but because a station in Sheffield called Imam FM broadcast about 20 hours of lectures from a former terrorist leader.”