A FORMER Lakeland Radio presenter at the centre of a fixed phone-in competition claims he has been made a “scapegoat” by his former employers.

The Kendal-based station was fined £15,000 for running a phone-in competition that listeners had no chance of winning.

Media watchdog, Ofcom, found that a Lakeland Radio presenter had deliberately chosen the wrong answers for its Suss the Celebrity competition and had been instructed to do so by a former managing director in order to “build excitement.”

Last week Bill Johnston, managing director of The Bay and Lakeland Radio, told The Westmorland Gazette that the incident was an “unfortunate mistake” made by an “inexperienced presenter”.

However, Steven Bell, of Kendal, has hit back saying that the comment was “unfair” and portrays him as a “contributing factor in the station’s hefty fine.”

“I believe that the CN Group have attempted to marginalise me as a means of diverting attention from their own responsibilities in this matter,” said the 22-year-old.

For the full story get today's Westmorland Gazette.