Amateur Radio in the UK was featured in a primetime UK show on Channel 5 on Thursday 27th October 2016.
For episode 8 of the 5th series of “The Nightmare Neighbour Next Door“, radio amateur Armando Martins M0PAM from Herne Bay, Kent was featured.
Issues of his battles with neighbours and planning officials have been documented in the local press, but the story got an airing on mainstream UK TV. Here’s the promotional blurb released about the episode:
“Documentary about Britain’s feuding neighbours. Armando is passionate about his amateur radio, but the neighbours claim the 30ft mast is affecting their health.”
Watch on Demand: THE NIGHTMARE NEIGHBOUR NEXT DOOR – Series 5, Episode 8
It’s pretty clear that most radio amateurs strongly feel that they were misrepresented in this show, and the lack of accurate information has done a disservice to the hobby.
Mr Martins’ neighbours, not happy with the large antenna being erected in their retirement complex, blamed the HF antenna for causing TV interference (disproved by Ofcom), and creating health issues. Although the narrator states that there’s “no scientific eveidence to prove the link”
The following statement appeared on the RSGB site, in response to the programme:
“We work hard to build relationships with the media and often provide facts and help when programmes and articles featuring amateur radio are being prepared.
Unfortunately, the RSGB was not invited to be part of Channel 5’s “Nightmare Neighbour Next Door” programme or to verify any facts. We have, of course, contacted Channel 5 about our concerns and have highlighted the positive aspects of amateur radio. We have also offered our expertise and input for future programmes where amateur radio is mentioned.
Our volunteers spend a lot of time helping radio amateurs with planning applications. It is by putting forward facts during those processes that we can help to dispel myths about amateur radio and any impact on the public or environment.”
Feel strongly that the hobby was mis-represented? Ofcom Broadcast Complaints (Thanks to Trevor for the link)
Tweets from viewers
We picked up the following tweets that were sent out as the programming was airing:
- @Ali_the_geek Poor Martin it’s his hobby you old gits !!
- @ladypopss Let’s petition for Martin to get his antenna back!!!
- @redliz Sorry pal a 40 ft mast in a postage stamp garden in a sheltered housing development is ridiculous
- @Al_1690 Leave poor old Martin alone with his mast, the snobbery in this country is unreal
- @CharlieTweeets Awe,poor Martin,he wasn’t doing anything wrong. Bless him.
- @jordcoxx Justice for Martin
- @Bunny_mcdougal I feel sorry for Martin. He just wants to do his radio bless him.
- @strong_views Felt sorry for the poor old chap with the Radio… Very unfair
- @Hillustrate “I’m a Christian”…b*****ks! Poor Fella, he’s not doing any harm, all the oldies are just a group of bullies!
- @Pawyza Cancer from radio signals LOL. I genuinely think the OAP residents were just a bunch of racist bigots!! Poor old chap
- @RuRu_mb20 Can we set up a petition for Marty boy @jaejcunningham Ok, i found it an eye sore, but I wouldn’t have kicked off about it they did, that was just vindictiveness
- @smnhndmch Can’t believe the council sided with the moaning old biddies, bloody disgrace 75 year old man doing no harm to anyone
- @johnshorror So the lovely man has to take down his aerial (which looks fine) because a stupid bint thinks it’s giving her cancer?
- @CharlieTweeets I really feel sorry for Martin.Being accused of killing ppl. The old biddies are vile.
- @JeremiahBoogle Short-wave radio does not interfere with digital TV and, astonishingly, doesn’t cause cancer. Feel for you Martin!
- @Dale_Houghton1 Leave the man alone your all being bullys
- @AndyGibsonTV I am uber impressed with Martin’s radio systems. – I’d be in geek heaven in his house.
Links to the press coverage from 2014: