Archive for January, 2010

January 28, 2010

Steve Penk’s Laboured Comedy Corner

(Sponsored by McDonalds ® – I’m lovin’ it)

Famous for Jon Culshaw’s infamous phone call to Downing Street, Penk revolutionised Revolution Radio by transforming it from a dull, eclectic mix of varied music and ideas into a super-slick, exciting derivative of the Heart FM franchise. Join Penky in his exciting new column in which he muses leaden-footedly over the week’s events, where even the tagline struggles to make its point in a clumsy and roundabout way…


Frank Skinner has apparently written a new song for England’s World Cup campaign next summer. I’m not sure if it will live up to the glory of Three Lions, so with that in mind I have decided to create my own anthem, which I’m sure you’ll agree is better. It’s called “Penky, Penky, England” – see what you think:


It’s everyone’s dream to win the World Cup

To stand there on the podium lifting it up

We’re here to wish the boys the best of luck

And hoping that they don’t [BLEEP] it up

With Penky behind them, you know they can’t lose

Apart from if they drink too much booze

Like former England footie player Tony Adams

Who likes to drink several cans


We got Beckham, we got Joe Cole

Good honest lads who are great at foot-bole

We got style, we got class

We got Ashley Cole who used to be an Arse…

…nal player who’s now at Chelsea

Moved there for a massive fee

Plus we got Rooney and Gerrard

Whose name conveniently rhymes with Frank Lampard


[chorus] Aaaallllllllllllrrrightyyy!!!

A-Penky-Penky-Penky-Penky Enger-land!


A-Penky-Penky-Penky-Penky Enger-land!



Move the ball forwards, tackle-pass-shoot

Scoring a goal off the toe of a boot

Don’t be too safe, don’t be too clever

If all else fails tie Ronaldo’s laces together

From the streets of Bury, to the sands of Dubai

They’ll be cheering England in the slums of Mumbai

Come on, England, get that ball in

Everybody really wants you to win


[chorus] Aaaallllllllllllrrrightyyy!!!

A-Penky-Penky-Penky-Penky Enger-land!


A-Penky-Penky-Penky-Penky Enger-land!



All the world over we’ll be singing this song

Hoping that England don’t do anything wrong

Penky at breakfast will always be here

To give all the boys some much-needed cheer

So listen to Penky all the way through

On Burnley’s Revolution 96.2

And if you find you don’t have the time

You can listen to all his best bits online


[chorus] Aaaallllllllllllrrrightyyy!!!

A-Penky-Penky-Penky-Penky Enger-land!


A-Penky-Penky-Penky-Penky Enger-land!



[Recording of prank call to Sepp Blatter:

Penky: Hullo, is that, uhhhh, Chip Fatter?

Blatter: Excuse me?

Penky: I said, is that Fish Batter [sniggers]?

Blatter: Who is this? I don’t understand.

Penky: I want to get some chips battered – are you the man to help me?

Blatter: Why are you calling? Who are you?

Penky: I heard you were a chip batterer – Sepp Blatter’s Chip Fat Fish Batterer. I need to batter my chips urgently!

Blatter: You pri…[click] [burrrrrr!]]


[chorus] Aaaallllllllllllrrrightyyy!!!

A-Penky-Penky-Penky-Penky Enger-land!


A-Penky-Penky-Penky-Penky Enger-land!

[repeat to fade]


So there you are – how funny was that? I’ve actually been working on this song since my days at Piccadilly Radio and I’m pretty sure it’ll give Frank Skinner’s effort a run for its money. Make sure you tune in on Monday at 6.00am for the world exclusive DEBUT of this track, which will be available to download straight afterwards – all the way up to July 10th!

Join Penky on Revolution96.2 as he plays this song EVERY DAY until England’s exit from the World Cup


Labour recall Blair for vital May fixture

January 27, 2010

Veteran politician Tony Blair has received a shock call-up to the Labour fold over two years since he sensationally turned his back on UK politics in order to attempt to forge a big-money career overseas.

Labour selector Peter Mandelson told the Daily Mirror yesterday: “I know to some it may look like a risky decision, but he’s a proven performer of the highest calibre, knows the ropes well and has been in good form recently for the Middle East. Some might say he’s past his best, but I think he offers plenty in terms of knowledge and experience, and his work rate is second to none. I’ve seen him in training and I tell you something, he runs rings round the younger politicians such as Balls and Milliband. I’ve never seen a faster leafletter, plus his knowledge of question-dodging alone is impeccable. The hunger is definitely still there, for sure, and his ability as a top-flight politician has never been in question.

“We want all the party’s leadership – past and present – to be contributing to our electoral success. I’m expecting everyone to get stuck in and give it 110% in the run-up to May – no excuses. They know as well as everyone what is at stake for the country.”

Mandelson added that he intended to recall more Labour veterans towards May, as the electoral contest becomes fiercer over the upcoming weeks: “May 6th is a big contest for us, and in the big competitions you need your biggest names. At this level, you don’t win anything with youngsters, so having someone like Blair on side will be a priceless source of wisdom which younger politicians such as Harman and Darling can make good use of throughout the campaign.”

When interviewed, yesterday, Mr. Blair spoke of his “excitement” after learning of his call-up to the front bench: “I haven’t slept a wink all night. I can’t wait to get out there and show the PM I’ve still got what it takes at this level. I’m confident I’ve still got something to offer in terms of pace, vision and electionability, and, although I’m older than I was 5 years ago, I still feel I have enough stamina and the mental fortitude to deliver the sort of consistent performances required to win the crucial parliamentary battles throughout the campaign – provided I don’t pick up an injury along the way.”

NME name unchanged line-up for 2010 awards

January 26, 2010

NME magazine have named an unchanged line-up on all its major award categories for the sixth year running.

Oasis once again received nominations for Best British Male Guitar Band, Best Live Male Guitar Band and Best Male Guitar Based Album, as well as the prestigious and much sought-after Lads Of The Year award. Guitarist Noel Gallagher is also up for an individual award, as he is also favourite to receive the coveted Top Fella Award.

Kasabian are frontrunners once again in the Best Male Haircut category, which also includes arch rivals Arctic Monkeys. The two bands will also go head-to-head once again for the Most Masculine Guitar Sound award, a category in which Kasabian narrowly lost out last year after partially emasculating their music through the use of keyboards.

The Best Male Session Musician award is set to be hotly contested again this year between Florence & The Machine, Lady Ga-Ga and La Roux., whilst Lady Ga-Ga leads the nominations in the Best Male Production On A Contemporary Track category with Poker Face.

NME editor Krissi Murison said yesterday: “The fact that NME have chosen the same bands in its major award categories for another year running really says something about the calibre of these acts and the overall state of the section of the music industry we continually choose to write about. The fact that the same handful of male guitar acts keep on winning these awards must mean we’re doing something right.

“For instance, our readers have voted overwhelmingly for Oasis, despite them having split up over five months ago. This is because we feature them so prominently in most of our issues that the majority of the readership is unaware they ever split. As far as 90% of NME buyers are concerned, the Gallaghers have just fallen out again and are no longer talking to one another, as usual. To be honest, even if the founder members of that band died we’d probably still nominate them in much of the same categories next year, including the Paul Weller Award For Not Turning Up.”

The awards are due to take place next month.

January 25, 2010

Tim Minns – columnist of the year

The award-winning columnist who knows things better than anyone


You may remember just over a fortnight ago how I carried out an undercover “sting” on a Dutch airline, smuggling on board a potentially lethal writing implement without detection. Well, in the light of this, and several other compelling pieces of evidence, the government has now taken the decision to raise the terror threat level from “substantial” to “severe”. Having played a major part in highlighting fundamental security flaws in airports, I know better than anyone the importance of this decision and the reasons why it was undertaken. What may surprise many of you is that one of those reasons was the increased threat posed by women.

It beggars belief that women could ever be involved in something so heinous, so masculine and so ultimately destructive. What next? Suicide-bombing babies? Elderly cripples with a kilo of semtex concealed in their false leg? Where will this end? How many more questions need to be asked? Three? Four? Five? Or will we never find any answers?

The other factor which played a prominent part in the government’s decision was the fear that some Al-Qaida terrorists had trained women, who may not have Arabic appearances, to carry out suicide bomb attacks. Now this presents the very real threat of white, middle class women being involved in terrorist atrocities – an idea which, until recently, would probably been laughed all the way down the boarding tunnel. I know better than anyone the threat posed by white, middle class people, having easily smuggled a dangerous item on board a Dutch aircraft at the start of this year – something which you may remember me referring to at the start of this article. Mind you, I was most probably too shrouded by the cloud from their funny cigarettes for them to have noticed. And even if they had they’d probably be too busy eating biscuits and crisps to bother apprehending me.

In all honesty, although it was the right decision to escalate the threat level, the government could have noticed this a lot sooner. If I can effortlessly smuggle a weapon on board a commercial flight, then how many others could have already done something similar? How many flights could this have conceivably occurred on? How many pens in how many pockets will it take for anyone to face up to the very real threat of white middle class terrorism?

It makes my blood run cold to think of how many potentially dangerous items have been innocently taken on board flights over the last few years. It only takes one passenger to flip, to lose a vital part of their faculty due to the altitude and perform an act so far removed from civilized society it doesn’t bear thinking about. And the fact that something like this could involve a woman is genuinely terrifying. No doubt this woman would be “in love” with one of these people, brainwashed by the alluring and hypnotic power of a highly-trained Al-Qaida “soldier”. Her moral compass would be distorted so much that she would eventually turn her back on her wealthy (and no doubt frantic) family and think nothing of indulging in an evil act hitherto completely incongruous with her background. So spellbound would she be that, to her, it would represent the greatest act of love one person could perform. By this point it would be too late and the terrorist lowlife (whom I would be more than happy to impale with a garotte spike) will have easily achieved their warped aims, and no doubt will laugh in the face of the powerless British authorities.

How low will the Al-Qaida eventually stoop? Allah only knows, but I know one thing – better than anyone, in fact – security must be STEPPED UP in order to prevent this FEAR from becoming a REALITY.


Congratulations to Denise Van Outen and her husband Lee Meade on the birth of their first child. Knowing them both as I do, I know how wonderfully overjoyed they will be feeling right now. I know better than anyone that Denise will make a fantastic mother and I’d like to be the first to wish her, Lee and “Teapot” all the best for the future.

“Teapot”, by the way, came from when they had dinner at my place towards the end of last year. I suggested to Denise that they use an alias for their baby when it was born, because it would be fun and also it would provide a clever way to retain some privacy from the press (the other reason was that they didn’t have a proper name in mind at this point). I told her to name the first thing she saw, which in this case just happened to be a teapot. Luckily, with my help, they’ve now thought of a name. Unfortunately for you, you’ll just have to wait to find out what it is – I already know, of course…

Cor-uption at nationaITV Awards

January 22, 2010

The nationaITV Awards have come under fire this week over accusations of vote rigging to ensure its flagship show Coronation Street won the coveted Best Soap award.

Rival BBC bosses have hit out after BBC1’s Eastenders shockingly lost out to its ITV nemesis for the first time in 5 years, and many feel that the awards ceremony favoured Coronation Street.

A spokesperson for the nationaITV Awards said yesterday: “This is sour grapes from the BBC.  Corrie is clearly the nation’s favourite, and has been for many years. It is incredible to think that a show which started out as a short series filmed live all those years ago has developed into the warm, much-loved format viewers enjoy today. It’s staggering to think that this show has sometimes gone out as many as 6 nights in a week, but it’s a testament to all those involved that the quality of the output never diminishes.

“The cast, writers, directors and producers throughout the years should all be rightly proud of having been involved in such a heartwarming family programme steeped in a gentle northern humour, which has for so long stood the test of time. I’m more than confident that we’ll be here after another 50 years celebrating the centenary of Britain’s most famous street, whose heart still beats like a cannon. After reminding the viewers of this throughout the ceremony, it seemed that they agreed and hence it deservedly won Best Soap in a fitting and emotional end to the evening, which many of us will treasure for several days.”

The BBC were last night quoted as saying that the awards were “a complete shithouse” and that Coronation Street was “a pile of wank that only old farts bother to watch”, before adding: “STRICTLY speaking, it’s not as if we have one flagship show which we crowbar into every other programme as much as we can. I mean, COME on, let’s not be DANCING around the issue here – it’s blatant corruption is what it is.”

‘Let me know if there’s anything you want me to do’ says Brown

January 22, 2010

Prime Minister Gordon Brown has today promised the Chilcot Inquiry into the Iraq war that he’ll “be around” should they need “anything doing”.

Mr. Brown is said to be reluctant to face the inquiry due to the potential damage it could cause to Labour’s upcoming election campaign, although the Prime Minister insists this is “not the case” and that he’d be “more than happy to help”.

Although the inquiry has previously said it would not call on Mr. Brown until after the General Election, John Chilcot – the civil servant in charge of the inquiry – is said to be “exasperated” at the Prime Minister’s general lack of commitment and his tardiness in replying to email messages sent over the last few weeks.

In response to Mr. Chilcot’s most recent email, the Prime Minister eventually wrote a brief reply: “Work’s been a nightmare, plus the broadband’s been playing up. More than happy with the inquiry idea – let me know if there’s anything you want me to do, although it looks like you’ve got everything in hand. Thanks, G.”

Political correspondent Tim Peters says of the email: “It’s a classic brush-off from the PM. It’s quite clear he doesn’t want to have anything to do with this, so he’s used that classic line ‘let me know if there’s anything you want me to do’ – it’s clever, because on the surface the sentiment initially appears to be one of genuine concern. But if you read it through a couple more times it actually says very little and shows that he’s not on board with the idea whatsoever. It’s sort of a positive negative. It’s almost like he sidling his way out of the room as he says it – he has no intention of turning up to this inquiry if he can help it, but he wants to appear enthusiastic in order to get Chilcot off his back. From what we know it hasn’t worked and word has it that Chilcot has almost given up on him and may end up gathering evidence elsewhere.”

It was Mr. Brown himself set up the Iraq inquiry last year in order to learn lessons from the conflict following British withdrawal, and although initially “excited” over the idea, his enthusiasm has been said to have cooled somewhat upon realising the amount of work it would require from him – particularly before a General Election.

“It’s just a matter of etiquette,” says Peters, “Mr. Brown didn’t want come across as rude, hence his friendly-yet-noncommittal email to Mr. Chilcot. However, it could easily backfire.  That line could yet come back to bite him, because the danger is that Chilcot could take him at his word and actually bring forward his appearance before the inquiry and end up scuppering the Prime Minister’s plans for the forthcoming election.”

Where are they NIE?

January 20, 2010

Northern Ireland Electricity today faces the prospect of recalculating thousands of customer bills after losing a data tape containing 12,799 individual billing details.

The tape is thought to contain vital customer details such as balance brought forward, balance outstanding brought forward, total owing, total still to pay, total due, monthly direct debit, balance still owing, total carried forward to next quarter, VAT at 5% and balance total, as well as the unfathomable unit calculation section on the second page of all bills.

Eamonn McNeil, a lazily made-up customer of NIE who was photographed solemnly holding up a copy of his recent electricity bill in order to make the point that bit clearer to readers, said yesterday: “This is outrageous, so it is. I rely heavily on the conflicting and unclear information on my quarterly statement, and the fact that it’s gone missing can only mean devastation for the supply of electricity across the whole of Northern Ireland. In fact this is nothing short of a disaster. I’m not quite sure why, but it should make a compelling and emotive quote when published. Obviously don’t include this bit, though – that’d just make me sound stupid, so it would.”

NIE Energy managing director Stephen McCully said: “I appreciate the concern that this missing obfuscatory information will cause among members of the public, but I would like to take this opportunity to assure everyone that no adverse consequences will occur should this information fall into the wrong hands. Hell, even WE don’t understand it, and we compile the bills. The only things a criminal will gain from this information will be a slight retinal headache and a feeling of lethargy. If anything, it may confuse them so much they actually end up turning their back on crime – that’s got to be a reason to smile, hasn’t it?”

The story ended shortly after Mr. McNully’s quote.

January 19, 2010

Steve Penk’s Laboured Comedy Corner

(Sponsored by McDonalds ® – I’m lovin’ it)

Famous for Jon Culshaw’s infamous phone call to Downing Street, Penk revolutionised Revolution Radio by transforming it from a dull, eclectic mix of varied music and ideas into a super-slick, exciting derivative of the Heart FM franchise. Join Penky in his exciting new column in which he muses leaden-footedly over the week’s events, where even the tagline struggles to make its point in a clumsy and roundabout way…


Hasn’t it been cold recently? Brrr… ice all over the roads and snow everywhere. Tell you what would have been funny was if everyone had gone to work USING ICE SKATING BOOTS! How funny would that have been? You’d just see everyone, wouldn’t you? Sliding around. And of course you’d get some people falling over, wouldn’t you? You can imagine them going “Urraaggghh!!! Yikes!!! Wooooaaaooohhhh, how do I operate the brakes on this thing? Arrrrrghhhh!!!” then SPLAT, they’re on the floor!! That would have been so funny. And you’d have some flash people doing pirouettes, wouldn’t you? Hahaha…shame it’s not like that now. You know, if I’d thought of it at the time, I’d have played “Cold As Ice” by Foreigner and made the point in a really obvious way.


So I see Prince William has arrived in Australia. I bet there’s a few SHEILAS who’ll be pleased to see him, eh? Yer flamin’ galaa? Tell you what would be funny – if he wore a Crocodile Dundee hat with corks hanging off it – THAT would be funny! How funny would that be? And if he came off the plane, right, with Rolf Harris’s wobble board going “Mmm-chikka-mmm-chikka-mmm-chikka-mmm!!!” That would be hilarious! Ahaha ha ha ha!!! And of course it’d all be upside-down! Eh? Laugh, or I’ll sack you. Tell you what, that’s got to be worth playing a bit of “Down Under” by Men At Work, hasn’t it? Heh heh!


Nice to see all the political parties gearing up for the upcoming election. Apparently, there may even be a live debate between the three major party leaders. I tell you what would be better – a live boxing match with really massive gloves! Or a pillow fight – can you imagine how funny that would be? A pillow fight between Brown and Cameron! Hahaha! Imagine the look on Brown’s face as a pillow smacks him on the nose! That’d be hilarious! Or even better, they could have pugil-sticks like on Gladiators and two elevated sort of pad type things on top of a pole. How funny would it be when one of them fell off? And I tell you what else I’d do – I’d make them do it in their PANTS! How funny would that be? And you could play “Eye Of The Tiger” by Survivor in the background…


Lily Allen could apparently win her first ever Brit Award next month. What would be really funny was if you could get into the audience on the evening and shout out “Robin Hood! Friar Tuck! Maid Marian!” – eh? Because obviously her dad Keith is in Robin Hood as the evil Sheriff of Nottingham. Could you imagine the look on her face? She’d probably take it in good spirits as she’s actually got a sense of humour herself. Or you could shout something like “You’re a twit for leaving Twitter! You Twitter twit!” – ah ha ha ha ha harr! How funny would that be? Of course I wouldn’t actually play a record by her as it’d doubtless be full of naughty words and it doesn’t fit with the remit of my station.


Mixed reviews over Ricky Gervais hosting the Golden Globes. That’s probably because he didn’t do his funny dance. Now how funny would THAT have been? If he’d gone up there and just did that dance between every award? That would be pure comedy! Especially if you overlook any irony in it – can you imagine the look on Meryl Streep’s face? She’d have a look of permanent surprise! It’d be hilarious! I tell you what else would be funny – if he wore the WIG and GLASSES from Extras! You wouldn’t be able to move for laughter – he’d bring the house down! It’d be SO funny!


Have you been watching Big Brother recently? What are they LIKE, eh? They’re all mad! But have you heard of ANY of the “celebrities” in there? Me neither. What is a lady sovereign? I bet it’s a kind of money or a medal or something that they used to have in the olden days, yeah? And who’s Alex Reid? Is he Mike Reid’s son? Eh? I tell you what would be really funny – if they did It’s A Knockout as the weekly task! That would be hilarious – and you could have the Geordie guy doing Stuart Hall’s voiceover. How funny would that be, with the why-aye-man Geordie accent? “Ah tell e wot like! That’s a crackeh!”. That’d get the viewing figures back up again!


Join Penky every morning at “stupid o’clock” on Revolution96.2

January 18, 2010

Tim Minns – columnist of the year

The award-winning columnist who knows things better than anyone


I don’t know about you, but for me Frozen Britain has shown up everything that is wrong with this country. Schools closed, factories closed, gas supplies critically low, no snow ploughs and a lack of grit in more ways than one. Why this country came to an economic standstill over a few inches of snow, I’ll never know. But I do know one thing better than anyone – it CANNOT be allowed to happen again.

I myself know better than anyone how important it is for local councils to clear roads quickly and efficiently so that Britain’s workforce can function at full capacity. Indeed, I myself actually suffered from our council’s incompetence as I was forced to wait indoors for SEVERAL HOURS – missing an important meeting in the process – before our road was eventually made safe enough to drive on. Had I been in charge of the operation I would have made sure that salt and grit stocks were ADEQUATE enough to cope with this adverse weather, and I would have made sure several gritter lorries were ready to go AS SOON AS this weather was forecast. It seems simple when you take a minute or two to think about the logistics, and it doesn’t take a genius to highlight these shortcomings in hindsight.

Airports in chaos, rail networks ground to a halt (because of “iced up lines”, apparently. No, me neither.) – how on earth could all this be allowed to happen after – and let’s be honest here – a light sprinkling of snow? Countries such as Finland and Sweden have far worse winters than this EVERY YEAR, and they make DAMN SURE they’re adequately prepared. Britain gets a winter like this once every 30 years and the whole nation goes into tailspin. We are a laughing stock among our European counterparts, and for good reason. This country is a joke, and one that is no longer funny.

Another tragic thing about this weather, aside from the deaths, is how it has thrown up the kind of slackers who love nothing more than skiving at home in front of Jeremy Kyle rather than getting to work. Although there are no actual examples of this, you can pretty much fill in any blanks – and whilst I don’t have access to the audience figures for the last two weeks of that show, I wouldn’t mind betting they doubled over that period. Coincidence? You decide. I know better than anyone about the sort of households who love nothing more than to let the country work for them and how this weather has provided them with the perfect excuse for a lie-in and some daytime TV. I would guess that at least half of those off work COULD HAVE got to their workplace had they REALLY wanted to. It doesn’t take much to work that out…

The laziness of the average British citizen is topped only by the stupidity of the government and local authorities, who are only too happy to tell us all to do our bit to combat global warming – all the while COMPLETELY UNAWARE that the implications actually mean COLDER winters for Britain. Where has the preparation been for THAT? I know better than anyone the importance of adequate preparation for adverse weather having seen for myself countless news items showing the devastating effects of this, day in, day out. To me, it seems that the authorities are more concerned with ploughing taxpayers money into dodgy Icelandic banks rather than into essential services and equipment which would almost certainly have prevented the widespread devastation witnessed across all sections of the media over the last 2 weeks. Although I myself am unfamiliar with the ins and outs of council budgeting, what I do know better than anyone is that taxpayers money should definitely NOT be frivolously gambled overseas by the kind of workshy idiots who probably make up the majority of people mentioned in my previous paragraph.

Apparently now we’re being warned of floods due to all the snow and ice melting in the warmer weather. Surely the authorities could see THIS coming? I mean, it doesn’t take much to work out that ice melts in warmer temperatures before turning to water – a fact which clearly eludes our government. What next? A Shortage of sandbags? Overflowing drains due to essential maintenance budgets being frittered away on recycling boxes? It just doesn’t bear thinking about.

Clearly, the real danger lies in the frozen thinking and melting minds of this Labour government, who, like the weather, this country will be only too glad to see the back of.

Daily Mail embroiled in another phone scandal as N-Dubz sensationally use rude words

January 15, 2010

The Daily Mail newspaper has become involved in a fresh telephone scandal after pop group N-Dubz sensationally used foul language towards a listener of Radio 1, who criticised their latest hit record via a text message.

Dappy Dubz – lead singer of the N-Dubz – used foul language, such as “******” and “*****” towards a terrified listener of the Chris Moyles breakfast show on Radio 1. An audience of over 7 million listened in horror as the youth texted the abusive message during the airing of the band’s latest hit single.

“At first I wondered what the slight clicking noise in the background was,” said listener Peter Ian yesterday, “then I was shocked to read in the Daily Mail the exact details of the exchange and now I feel sickened. I can’t believe that newspaper has done the same thing yet again – it looked like the issue had been resolved in-house, but then the Mail felt it had to run a feature on it, prolonging that poor listener’s misery. I feel outraged, I really do – if only there were some kind of professional body she could complain to over the way she has been exploited. She’s a young mum, too, I gather. Goodness knows how upsetting that article will be should her daughter ever get to read it.

“They even tagged on the end of the story a reminder of how Chris Moyles was (quite rightly) reprimanded for making a joke about Auschwitz. Quite how that has any relevance to the issue, I’m not entirely sure – especially coming from a newspaper which once openly supported Hitler. You’d think they’d want to shut up about stuff like that, really.”

The Daily Mail itself is no stranger to BBC-related telephone controversy, as this latest outrage has arisen just 15 months after it came under fire for exploiting the plight of 83-year-old actor Andrew Sachs. The good-natured actor – who at the time was recovering from the shock of receiving vulgar answerphone messages from BBC presenters Jonathon Ross and Russell Brand – was stunned to see transcripts of those messages appear over several pages of the national tabloid a few weeks later.

“Once I saw this N-Dubz story, I thought to myself ‘Oh God, not again’”, said Sachs earlier today. “I’d have thought the Mail would have learned their lesson by now, but it seems they just can’t help becoming involved in stuff like this. I honestly don’t know why I expected any better of them, but there you go …”