A radio station in Essex that played a song which contained “prolonged sounds of sexual moaning” at 8:20am has been told the track was inappropriate for the time it went out.
Caroline Community Radio played the song French Kiss by Lil Louis at a “time when children were particularly likely to be listening to the radio”, according to Ofcom.
Released in 1989, the song – which has no lyrics – hit number two in the UK charts and topped the US dance charts, but was later re-recorded with lyrics after being picked up by major labels.
The Ofcom report into the incident said that the track included “prolonged sounds of sexual moaning lasting two minutes and 20 seconds”.
Caroline Community Radio said that it had been in the process of transferring its music library between computer systems and that “some scheduling restrictions that it had applied to songs had not been carried across to the new system”.
A report said the licensee “did not wish to offend its listeners and confirmed that it was undertaking a review of its database to ensure all song information is correct”.
The station also argued “songs such as Big Love by Fleetwood Mac and Love to Love You Baby by Donna Summer” also featured breathing in a similar vein to French Kiss, but did admit that children could ask parents for an explanation of the noises if they heard it.
Ofcom said that it took into account the comments that said “given the radio station’s target audience, the likelihood of children listening was low”.
The broadcast regulator ruled that the song was “not appropriately scheduled” and in breach of rule 1.3 of the Broadcasting Code – which says “children must… be protected by appropriate scheduling from material that is unsuitable for them”.
Radio Caroline was originally a pirate radio station in the 1960s that broadcast from the North Sea.
Caroline Community Radio broadcasts in the Maldon area of Essex, and has connections to the historic former pirate radio station Radio Caroline – including the use of its name and former volunteers that worked on board the ship.