4FM’s Boylan berated for sexual harrassment “experiment”

Classic Hits 4FM presenter Niall Boylan has come in for considerable criticism both on-air and online after sending a reporter on his show out to “wolf whistle” at women live on air.

Suggesting that the action was a “social experiment”, Boylan sent out a tweet shortly after 8am yesterday morning to promote his 1pm show:


Robbie Kane, who works as a reporter on the Classic Hits 4FM show as well as presenting the Arts Show on Dublin community station Near FM, cat-called and whistled at women (and men) passing by on Dublin’s Henry Street, saying things like “You’ve got a lovely arse,” in order to get a reaction.

Despite the fact that Kane immediately apologised to each person involved and explained to them that he was live on the radio and carrying out a “social experiment”, both he and Boylan have come in for considerable criticism, being accused of humiliating and intimidating women and potentially damaging their self-esteem.

The Niall Boylan Show issued a statement shortly after the show was broadcast claiming that “100% of the women and men who were approached took it in good humour” and that “none of [them] were offended”.


However, it’s been suggested that this conclusion is an easy one to make when most people will say they weren’t offended in order to be polite – especially when confronted by a reporter who is, at the time, live on the air.

Commenters on twitter and news web sites have branded Boylan and Kane as “clowns” following the incident, suggested that what they did was “sexually harrassing women to see if it was sexual harrassment”, and that most people just want to go about their daily lives without a man approaching them to say you have a ‘lovely arse’ while live on the radio.

Boylan decided to continue the discussion on his night-time (9pm) show and took to twitter to invite those who had an issue with the ‘experiment’ to join him on air:

On the later show, the presenter replayed some of the audio from the afternoon programme and further asked if listeners thought it was in fact sexual harrassment or “harmless flirting”.

Here is a selection of the twitter reaction to the initial piece:

Boylan spoke about these tweets, saying: “The criticism on twitter was blown up, with the majority of those commenting not having listened to the show. These people who are directly abusing the team have made their own minds up without inquiring about the programme or listening to it”.

Meanwhile, some of the twitter reaction came from people who had no problem with the ‘experiment’:

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