Radio phone-ins might be dodgy too
And David Gest shouldn't have left the jungle
Another day, another flurry of stories about dodgy phone-ins.
Premium rate regulator Icstis has warned radio stations to get their house in order or face investigations like those suffered by TV stations.
The regulator has also written to broadcasters outlining its areas of concern. The letter (available as a pdf here) outlines five main areas of concern.
Firstly, weakness in connectivity means delays to counting text message votes. Secondly, content: T&Cs are not made clear and lines are left open when programmes are repeated. Icstis is also concerned that pricing information is not made clear to viewers. Nor is there sufficient customer service contact or data capture for people taking part in competitions. Finally, the regulator said contracts between broadcasters, producers, and service providers fail to make clear who is responsible for different aspects of the competitions.
Broadcasters are now expected to review their own content on the basis of the regulator's concerns. They must reply, in confidence, to the letter by 26 March.
Back with TV, ITV has reinstated some quiz shows - TV Play is back on ITV1, but Deloitte is still considering its appearance on its own digital channel. Dancing on Ice and This Morning have also had their phone lines switched back on.
In other news, the Sun reckons David Gest should still be in the jungle - the paper claims that I'm a Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here inaccurately counted votes and unfairly evicted Gest from the show. Emails seen by the paper suggest that some 30,000 telephone votes for Gest were not included in the final tally which meant Gest, rather than Mylene Klass, was kicked out of the jungle.
The paper fingers SMS provider Mig for the gaffe.
But ITV denied there was any such problem. In a statement, the broadcaster says: "This accusation is completely wrong. On the night of David Gest's eviction, all votes cast on all platforms within the specified voting window were counted and verified. Viewers can be confident that the final votes for all contestants were 100 per cent accurate."
It is clearly Gest's day today - rival British tabloid The Mirror reckons he's in the frame as a new judge on uber-phone-in show X-Factor. ®