Category Archives: United Kingdom

Key 103 Competition inbreach of OFcom rules

Key 103 Manchester

Manchester radio station Key 103 fell foul of the regulator recently after complaints about their ‘Heartless Hotline’ competition.

The breakfast show competition involved a member of the public making a case as to why they should receive a particular prize that they have chosen. The station telephone lines were then opened for 30 seconds, and any listener who wished could phone in and steal the prize for themselves.  If no listener calls in, the person who requested the prize and gave their reason- gets it.

Ofcom received a complaint from a listener who described the treatment of the competition entrant on 27 April as “disgusting”. Separately we received two complaints about the 29 April competition from listeners who considered the competition had not been conducted fairly.

 

The competition went as follows:

The Heartless Hotline competition was introduced by the breakfast show presenters, Mike Toolan (“MT”) and Brooke Vincent (“BV”).

MT: Today’s person facing the Heartless Hotline is Sarah from Eccles. Sarah?
Sarah: Hello.
BV: Hi. You alright?
Sarah: I’m alright. A bit nervous.
MT: You’ve contacted us to try and win your dream prize. Tell everybody what it is.
Sarah: It’s £2,000 to cover divorce costs including a court order

MT: …Tell us the story. You were married – when did it all go wrong?
Sarah: It was just over two years ago and I discovered my husband was cheating on me with somebody he worked with. A couple of weeks after that literally, my dad died unexpectedly. It has been an awful – I can’t tell you what it’s been like the last two years [voice breaks]…sorry I’m a bit upset.
BV: Oh, don’t be upset.
Sarah: [voice wavering] I don’t have any luxuries. I have enough to cover the bills but really if I could get divorced I could also get a court order that would mean that my children’s father would have to help with the housing costs ‘cos I just don’t think, of moving house right now, they could cope with it. It’s just been heart-breaking.
MT: So your ex-husband, well I guess he’s still your husband at the minute until you can get divorced. He’s not helping you pay the bills? Sarah: He’s given me a little bit of basic maintenance but it’s not enough to be able to keep us in the house where we live.
BV: Is that for the kids as well? It’s for everything?
Sarah: Yeah. [voice wavering] You know, for me to lose my support network and for them to lose their friends and possibly have to move schools. I just don’t think they could cope with it.
MT: So you want a sort of court order that will allow you stay in the house
you are in.
Sarah: Yeah, you can obtain a court order which means that he would have to help with housing costs – he would have to contribute a little bit more in order to keep a roof over our heads.
MT: He should be doing it anyway.
BV: He’s in our ‘Bad Dads’ Club’.
MT: […] So you’re paying all the bills. You want to stay in the family home.
You need £2,000.

Sarah: I do work, I work in healthcare. I help look after children and adults with additional needs. It’s not that I don’t work but I just need a little bit more help in order to cover the mortgage…and that would do it really. I have been to see a couple of solicitors so I know what’s involved and I know the exact cost and that [the £2,000 prize] would cover the
paperwork for the divorce and the solicitor’s fees.
MT: So you need £2,000?
Sarah: Yes.

MT: We’ve got it for you.
Sarah: Right [nervous laughter].
MT: I’ve been through a divorce myself, I know exactly what you’re going through and it’s just horrible.
Sarah: It’s awful.
MT: Okay. 30 seconds. We’re going to open up the Heartless Hotline on Key 103. Really good luck Sarah in Eccles. Let’s hope no one calls. Let’s hope people allow you to take this £2,000.
Sarah: Please Manchester. I need this more than anything.
MT: How old are your children?
Sarah: Nine and seven now.
MT: Nine and seven. Aww. Are they okay?
Sarah: They’re okay. They’ve took it hard but they’re okay.
MT: Okay. 30 seconds. [Telephone number given]. It’s up to you if you want to call and steal this cash. It’s on your conscience. The Key 103 Heartless Hotline is now open.

[A ticking clock was heard, followed two seconds later by the sound of a phone
ringing.]

MT: We’ve got a call in already.
Sarah: Oh no.
MT: Hello? Key 103’s Heartless Hotline. Who’s this?
Caller: Hiya. It’s Leigh.
MT: Leigh? Why are you calling us?
Leigh: I want to steal the money.
BV: [gasp] Do you Leigh?
Sarah: Oh no.
Leigh: [laughing]
BV: What you want to steal it for, what do you want?
Leigh: Well I would like a holiday.
BV: But Leigh!
Sarah: This is my children’s future!
Leigh: I know but I’ve got children of my own and I could do with a holiday for us.
Sarah: You could do with a holiday? I could do with keeping a roof over my children’s heads. How could you?
Leigh: Sorry?
Sarah: [Sounding close to tears] I want to keep a roof over my children’s heads and you just want a holiday? Are you serious?
Leigh: I am serious. I’m sorry about this, but yes.
Sarah: You’re not sorry. How could you?
Leigh: Well that’s the name of the game!
BV: I don’t know what to say.
MT: […] Leigh, do you not think this is a bit out of order? Do you not think she’s been through enough and she deserves a chance to fight for the right to keep her kids in the same house?
Leigh: Well…yes, we’ve all got a story to tell and I just need the money myself so I just thought I would ring up.
MT: Okay.
Leigh: Sorry, I didn’t know her situation.
Sarah: Just for a holiday.
Leigh: I just want a holiday. Long overdue.
MT: Alright. Leigh, you’ve won your holiday.
Leigh: Oh thank you! [laughing].
MT: Okay. Bye.
Leigh: Thanks a lot. Bye bye!

MT: Sarah. I don’t know what to say.
Sarah: Okay well, she won it fair enough I suppose.
MT: Stay on the line, we’ll have a chat in a minute.

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After a music track was played the presenters discussed what had happened and
read out messages from listeners. These included:

MT: Sarah Elliot has texted… ‘Words fail me. What a cow!’
BV: I’ve got some on Twitter…we’ve got Jamie who’s put “nearly in tears at Key 103 Heartless Hotline”. I’ve got Tracy Elliot who’s put “what a vindictive, disgusting woman. Sickening”. Nicholas put “to be fair with this Heartless Hotline, you can’t blame people who are stealing. It’s the name of the game” and that’s true but – it’s just hard as these are people’s lives that we are trying to also help but other people are stealing from, so it’s not good.

MT: Someone’s put “you need to stop this evil game now. I’m at the point where I’m going to be switching stations”.
BV: I think the thing is, it also depends what the person is asking for because someone could ask for a car and it’d not be that bad. It’s just like, you know, they’ve stole a car, but when it’s that raw and personal, as a divorce, and someone comes on and tells a story, and someone just goes “yeah”. That’s a bit harsh.

The presenters also spoke to a number of callers over the course of the subsequent 30 minutes. The majority expressed their anger with Leigh for stealing the money, although some defended her actions. By way of example, callers’ comments included:

“I am absolutely disgusted with that woman from Wythenshawe that’s just stolen
that prize…words fail me”.

“That was bang out of order…”.

“…we’ve all been through issues and we don’t know what’s gone on in this girl’s
[Leigh’s] life to make her want a holiday. She could have been through anything
and there’s nothing like a holiday to make you feel better and I think we’re all
judging here without knowing what she’s been through…”.

One listener also offered to donate £100 towards Sarah’s cause which one of the
presenters agreed to match.

Ofcom found that Key 103 were in breach of their Rules 2.3 and 2.13 and said “In our opinion, the Licensee should have been more aware before transmission of the potential for offence arising from including Sarah as a contestant in this competition on 27 April 2016”.

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Monday Matters Trident Vote & Mandela Day 18 July 2016

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Nelson Mandela – released in 19901after 27 years in captivity

 

Monday Matters with Jason McCrossan as broadcast on 106.SFM.

On the show tonight:

It’s International Mandela day – after 9pm Jason speaks to a biographer of Nelson Mandela – Martin Meredith – about the Mandela’s early life, later life and struggles which saw him go from spending 26 years in a prison cell to becoming the first black President of South Africa.

The Prime Minister says she would be prepared to authorise a nuclear strike.  Theresa May’s made her first Commons speech since entering Number 10, during a debate about renewing the UK’s nuclear deterrent – we’ll discuss the pro’s and con’s with Green Party MP Caroline Lucas and former First Sea Lord and former Security Minister, Lord West.

Our featured artist tonight is Don Henley who is 69 on Friday. The drummer, singer, composer, and co-founder of The Eagles who has also pursued a successful solo career, releasing hits like The Boys of Summer.

Also we have The World Tonight; Not In The News and the latest music news and releases.

 

Saturday Breakfast & Medway river Festival 09 July 2016

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We start with the News Quiz and Tranquil time which features the poem: Love is Not All by Edna St Vincent Millay read by Gill Fraser Lee.

After 8am former racing driver Amanda Stretton joins Jason to talk about their report out today which says we are now paying more than 700 pounds on average for comprehensive car insurance.

Our quiz today is Blockbusters – feature the late and great Bob Holness who Jason will channel just after 0815.

It’s ladies’ final day at Wimbledon and Richard Newman reports from the All England Club.
After 9 we are in Cardiff for the Euro 2016 celebrations yesterday as Wales welcomed back their football team.

Also after 9am today is the Medway River Festival in Chatham: Medway Cllr Howard Doe will join Jason to talk about today’s events.

After 9am in Pick Of The Number One Pops, Jason will play the songs that were number one on this day in….: 1965, 1975, 1985, 1995

New Gay Drama: Man In An Orange Shirt commissioned for BBC One

Patrick Gale by Dan Hall
Patrick Gale by Dan Hall

BBC One has commissioned a two-part 1940s gay love drama written by British novelist Patrick Gale.

Man In An Orange Shirt tells two gay love stories, 60 years apart – stories linked by family, and by a painting that holds a secret that echoes down the generations.

Writer Patrick Gale says: “Man In An Orange Shirt is the most exciting screen project I’ve worked on to date: an original drama exploring strands of gay male experience since the 1940s. It has been such a privilege to be given such an open brief and then allowed to run with it. I don’t want to give too much away but after much experimenting, we’ve ended up with two hour-long films – one set in the 1940s and 50s, one set in the violently contrasted present; one depicting a love story made impossible by pressures from society, one a love story nearly derailed by the long-term fallout from the 1940s story.”

Man In An Orange Shirt is produced by Kudos for BBC One. The drama was commissioned by Charlotte Moore, Director, BBC Content, and Ben Stephenson, former Controller of Drama Commissioning. Executive Producers are Diederick Santer for Kudos and Lucy Richer for BBC One.

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Saturday Breakfast with Wimbledon & scams 02 July 2016

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On Saturday Breakfast – Jason starts by celebrating the Welsh historic win at the Euro 2016’s as the beat Belgium 3-1. Also, can you guess the story behind the news clip in this weeks News Quiz- or is that all just French as well? Gill Fraser Lee returns with Tranquil Time reading the poem – To My Brother by Vera Brittain – as we commemorate 100 years since the Battle of the Somme.

After 8am – Jason test your cryptic thinking with our BrainBox quiz and he gets serious as research out today says that people who fall victim to investment scams lose up to £20,000. Matthew Upton from Citizen’s advice spoke to Jason on the launch of Fraud Awareness month.

After 9am – in Pick of the number one pops – we hear songs from Hot Chocolate, Pet Shop Boys, Faith Evans and Puff Daddy and Rihanna.

And after England’s disastrous knockout at the Euro’s – we hear from FA chairman Greg Dyke about why he thinks England did so badly and we also hear from Calum Leslie in France.

Professor Ruth Blakeley: Chilcot report & Rendition

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The Chilcot report was published on 6th July by ex-civil servant Sir John Chilcot with the report looked into the origins, conduct and aftermath of the Iraq war – all 2.6 million words of it!!

In this programme Jason McCrossan speaks to Professor Ruth Blakeley from the University of Kent whose had a bit more time to digest the findings and we’ll get her reaction to some people’s call for Blair to be tried for war crimes.

Jason also discusses a project Professor Blakeley is running in conjunction with Westminster University called The Rendition Project – which looks at the CIA’s rendition, detention and interrogation (RDI) programme.

Dodgy Dave is OUT – Teflon Theresa is IN

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Former PM David Cameron

I do feel for David Cameron.  A month ago he was the PM who was quietly confident that he would win the referendum and would be at this point reshuffling his cabinet and getting on with his ‘economic plan’.

However, we now have a new Prime Minister and a new cabinet.  Gordon Brown declared his first cabinet as a ‘government of all the talents’.   With Boris Johnson as Foreign Secretary and Nigel Hunt left in place to fire harpoons at the NHS – I think it’s safe to call this a government with some of the talents.

I’m still not sure if it is an act of pure genius putting Boris in charge of Britain’s diplomacy with the world or an act of pure insanity. But whatever happens Boris won’t be boring.  I’m not even sure if he will be in the job all that long.   He has to work alongside eurosceptic MP David Davis whose ego dwarfs the EU, but who has been given Secretary of State for Exiting the EU – working alongside brexiteer and other ego-phile Liam Fox, the new Secretary of State for International Trade.  These three will find it hard agreeing to seating arrangements around a table – never mind the intricate policy and political details of how we leave the EU.  Fun times ahead.

I understand why Theresa want’s to keep Jeremy Hunt in place.  His nose and hands are already bloodied with his back sore and scarred with the numerous whippings and fist fights he’s had with the NHS.  The Government seem to be determined to push through a new contract on Junior Doctors.  Why get a new minister’s hands bloodied and bruised – better to let Jeremy slug away in Health and then get rid of him when all the damage is done – bringing in a clean pair of hands to try and smooth things over later.

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Boris Johnson reaching out…

Sarah Lonsdale The Journalist in British Fiction and Film

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Why did Edwardian novelists portray journalists as swashbuckling, truth-seeking super-heroes whereas post-WW2 depictions present the journalist as alienated outsider? Why are contemporary fictional journalists often deranged, murderous or intensely vulnerable?

In The Journalist in British Fiction and Film author, journalist and lecturer Sarah Lonsdale traces the ways in which journalists and newspapers have been depicted in fiction, theatre and film from the dawn of the mass popular press to the present day.

Proposed site for Operation Stack lorry area announced

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Transport Secretary has announced proposed site for Operation Stack lorry area to be created near Stanford in Kent.

Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin has announced that a new lorry area will be created near Stanford in Kent, to ease issues caused by Operation Stack and provide a long term solution to problems on the M20 and surrounding roads.

The new lorry area will help keep the M20 moving during cross-channel services, avoiding the level of disruption that comes with Operation Stack, which has caused issues for companies and other drivers and residents.

Operation Stack was used on a record 32 days last year as the area was hit with unprecedented disruption in the summer, which was followed by the Autumn Statement, in which the government announced it would be providing up to £250M for a permanent lorry area.

Lorry_area2.jpgChancellor George Osborne said: “We are taking bold action to deal with the severe inconvenience suffered by people living and working in Kent when cross-channel services are affected.

“A long-term solution that will keep traffic moving has been talked about for decades, but now we are delivering it. I look forward to construction starting as soon as possible.

Patrick McLoughlin, Secretary of State for Transport, said: “Operation Stack is only ever used as a last resort but we recognise the impact it has on roads in Kent, and are determined to deliver an alternative solution.

“The new lorry area by the M20 will deliver better journeys for drivers and will not only support the region’s economy but also businesses as far away as Scotland that rely on the M20 to access the Port of Dover and the Channel Tunnel.

“We have committed up to £250 million for the lorry area and we are now making it a reality.”

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A total of 3,600 lorries will be able to park in the area, with the government looking at the idea of overnight parking to prevent drivers parking in unsuitable or illegal positions.

Balfour Beatty have been appointed as lead contractor for the project, which is west of the M20 junction 11 at Stanford West.

New entry and exit slip roads will be built on the eastbound carriageway, providing direct access to the lorry park.

Jim O’Sullivan, Highways England Chief Executive said: “The Secretary of State has asked us to progress a lorry area between Sellindge and Stanford. Direct access from the M20 means less lorries using local roads.

“We will work closely with residents and local stakeholders to ensure the design of the new lorry area minimises its social and environmental impact, while meeting the wider need to address this issue for Kent and the UK.”

Written responses were provided by 1,300 people, along with more than 1,000 drivers, residents and workers attending eight public events during the consultation on the lorry park.

The majority of people supported the idea, with less than a quarter thinking that Operation Stack should continue in its current form. The next step with be a consultation on the details and environmental impact the scheme will have.

The UK just shrunk in stature

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After many months, years and decades of political wrangling and debate over whether the UK should be in or out of the EU – we finally got a decision.

The United Kingdom voted via referendum to leave the EU.  No one really knows how the result of Friday 24th will pan out, but I can’t say for certain that it will be negative – like those who voted to leave can’t say for certain that everything will be ok.

But I do believe the consequences will be far reaching and I do not think we understand them fully.  In 20 or 30 years from now we will look back and be able to trace events which have occurred, events we do not yet know of, back to the result today.

Some of those events will be positive but I’m sure some will also be negative. And

Who would have guessed that the awful events of September the 11th, would have lead to a 10 year war in Iraq and Afghanistan. We understand about Afghanistan- but the problems were on the Afghan/Pakistan border – Iraq had nothing to do with it and has tainted our international politics ever since. When David Cameron tried to help Syria out during its civil war the only thing that was shot down was his plan.

And then, who would have guessed that a street vendor setting fire to himself in Tunisia in 2010 would have lead to an Arab Spring, which eventually lead to tens of thousands of desperate migrants streaming into Europe – which would then be used as means of scaring UK voters via an outrageous poster during the EU campaign.

Who would have guessed that the Labour parties decision to elect Ed Milliband instead of his brother would have lead to an old anti-EU left winger being at the helm of the Labour Party when the UK was asked to make a crucial to stay or leave the EU.   Had Labour chosen David, maybe the referendum wouldn’t have happened at all!

Like most disasters there is no one single incident that proves fatal.  It’s a series of events some linked, some not that come together  at a crucial point just does disaster strikes.  As it was, the vote ended up being about a lack of political buyin from our voters, a fear of immigration and a boot in the face of our politicians.

And so here we are.  The Prime Minister resigns; the stock markets plummet; business is unsure about whether to invest; some considering a move.

What will happen next?  My guess is that it won’t be as bad as people suggest and it won’t be as wonderful as those brexiters would have us believe.  Given the amount of pro-EU support in parliament – I wonder if the anger felt by those of us who voted to remain – will soon be felt by those who voted to leave.  Outcome. Yet again, no one is happy and everyone feels cheated.

Well done, politics, you did it again.