Babestation models 'not welcome' after adult calls fiasco
Models from a British channel advertising X-rated chatlines have been told they will not be welcome in Mayo when they come to apologise, after it emerged households in Westport were unwittingly answering calls of an adult nature.
Regional Development Minister Michael Ring was forced to contact television regulators and gardai after his constituents were bombarded with calls linked to adult channel Babestation.
The station operates a premium rate phone service with the 0982 prefix for British callers.
However, it appears that when Irish callers tried to call the chatline they were connected to homes in the west Mayo area, which have an 098 prefix.
Last night, Babestation issued a statement apologising for the inconvenience caused to people living in Westport.
"Babestation recognise this as an innocent misunderstanding and it is extremely aware that disappointed callers in Ireland, whose intention it was to speak to one of the Babestation girls, may have inadvertently reached homes on the west coast of Ireland," the channel's statement said.
"It also recognises the impact that this has had on those that may have received these calls, and would like to apologise for any inconvenience caused."
The adult station said it planned to visit Westport with two models and speak to residents as a "show of support and recognition".
However, Mr Ring insisted the station was not wanted in Westport.
"All we want them to do is change the phone numbers so residents are not annoyed by these calls," Mr Ring told the Herald.
"We don't want them down here," he added.
The communications regulator Comreg and the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland are aware of the problem but cannot directly intervene as Babestation is a UK-based channel.