Ofcom has found Guildford’s Kane FM in breach of the Code over potentially highly offensive comments made during one of its shows.
A complaint was made about a birthday dedication broadcast during the Dirty Retro show. The presenter said, “18 today. That’s [name]…Happy birthday to [name]. Have a good one. And, oh, 18. And, ‘can I have as special shout-out to my girlfriend? She’s had our first baby at 15’. Congratulations, [name]”.
The presenter then went on to say, “If they’re old enough to breed, they’re old enough to bleed. Although, that’s not good, is it? When there’s grass on the wicket, let’s play cricket. All those sort of things, but, you know, yeah. Good luck to you”.
Kane FM apologised for “the improper actions and offence caused by the presenter”. They acknowledged “the extreme inappropriateness of the presenter’s comments”, which they considered to have been unjustified and deeply offensive. It added that the presenter was a professional DJ, but would not be offered future employment by the station.
They also said, “the station’s manual containing Ofcom codes of conduct relating to radio broadcast is given to all presenters, and volunteers”. An internal investigation was being conducted to identify and address concerns arising from this incident.
Ofcom felt the presenter appeared to condone the possibility of sex with underage girls. This had the clear potential to be highly offensive, and for the second comment they considered such statements were likely to have been well beyond the expectations of listeners to the station and to a programme of this type.
After taking into account both the presenter’s regret for what they had said, and the action taken by the station to avoid any recurrence, Ofcom decided that broadcasting these potentially highly offensive comments was not justified by the context and was therefore in breach of Rule 2.3 of the Code.