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Complaint against George Hook rejected after he called texter a 's**t'

Hook also jokingly said he would box the texter in the face.

Image: RollingNews.ie

A COMPLAINT MADE against George Hook after he called a texter a “shit” and threatened to assault that person with a box to the face has been rejected by the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland (BAI).

During a broadcast of his High Noon show in May of this year, Hook read out a message accusing him of only reading favourable texts on the programme. The presenter immediately called the texter a “shit” and then proceeded to invite the person in to “say it to my face” where he threatened to assault them with a box to the face.

According to the BAI, the complainant believed this behaviour by a presenter to be wholly inappropriate.

However, replying to the complaint, Newstalk said Hook was deeply upset by the inaccurate comment made by the listener and reacted in a “passionate manner in the heat of the moment”.

Hook conceded afterwards that he would have preferred to have reacted in more temperate tones and certainly did not intend to cause any offence.

Newstalk argued that Hook’s personality is central to the tone of the programme and the audience would be familiar with his “larger than life, gregarious and outspoken persona”.

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The broadcaster argued: “On the day in question the presenter had opened the show reflecting on the terrorist attack at the Ariana Grande concert in Manchester which had occurred the night before. He spoke about the tragedy of the loss of youth and the impact such an attack would have on his own grandson as a fan of Grande.

“During the course of the programme the presenter received a tweet from a listener which read ‘Attention seeking radio presenter @ghook has resorted to making up fake texts complimenting himself on Newstalk.’ Given the circumstances in which this comment was made and the inaccuracy of the accusation that he would first of all read out fake texts and secondly make-up fake texts complimentary to himself, the presenter was understandably upset. He responded to the tweet in his typically blustering manner, an approach with which regular listeners to his opinion-led programme would be familiar.”

The BAI rejected the complaint and said that Hook had the right to defend himself.

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