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Mansfield radio station pleas for wanking intrusions to stop

By | Published on Wednesday 12 July 2017

Mansfield 103.2

Analogue hacking news! OfCom is on the hunt for a radio pirate who keeps overriding the signal of local radio station Mansfield 103.2 and playing masturbation anthem ‘The Winker’s Song (Misprint)’ by Ivor Biggun.

The media regulator is apparently taking “extremely seriously” reports that Mansfield 103.2’s programming has been hijacked twelve times in the last three months – most recently at the weekend – meaning listeners to the station have now heard the song’s much repeated line of “I’m a wanker” almost 500 times.

However, unless OfCom officials can catch the person doing it in the act (hijacking the airwaves, not wanking – I suppose it could be both though), there is seemingly little that can be done beyond just hoping that they’ll eventually stop.

“You only need a small transmitter, and if you can get near where there’s an outside broadcast or a signal and you can overpower that signal, you’re on the airwaves”, explained the station’s Managing Director Tony Delahunty on Radio 4’s ‘Today’ programme. However, he noted, misusing a transmitter in such a way can carry a two year prison sentence or a fine.

“Ours have been strictly, I suppose if you wanted to have a very broad mind, humorous”, he conceded of the intrusions. However, he was concerned that there could be a more sinister side. “This one’s a clown, but what it does is, it exposes a situation that is available for perhaps worse than clowns, who knows, a terrorist, that type of person, some idiot who wants to put emergency messages on”.

He added that he was speaking publicly about the situation in the hope that it would scare the culprit into stopping: “You can hope he goes away, [that] he’s frightened by [me] going on programmes like ‘Today’ today, which is what I hope. That he’ll become frightened away, he’ll become a sleeper cell. But then we can’t catch him, because he needs to be in the act for us to be able to catch him. So if it’s going out on our airwaves now, we have to leave the song or the message or whatever it is – offensive though it might be – going out so that they can catch him. It’s a bit worrying”.

Despite Delahunty’s fears that radio stations could inadvertently become mouthpieces of terrorists, OfCom has said that hijacks such as this are very rare. Because, it says, carrying out such a prank actually requires a pretty powerful radio transmitter (however small) and some specialist knowledge.

By the way, fun fact of the day, ‘The Winker’s Song’ was an early hit for the Beggars Banquet record label in 1978, meaning that it is basically responsible for the success of Adele today.