Les Hewitt’s article The Voice of Vrillon pointed me to something I just had to share.

At 5.10pm on Saturday 26th November 1977, a Southern News TV segment on Rhodesia was hacked live: its audio track (of newscaster Andrew Gardner) was overlaid by a 5-minute message from “Vrillon, representative of the Ashtar Galactic Command”. Once complete, the audio then phased back in time for the start of “Falling Hare with Bugs Bunny”, a Merrie Melodies cartoon.

Nobody has since admitted to being ‘Vrillon’: which is perhaps a bit of a shame, because he/she did a pretty good job of overriding the FM signal (probably, as was pointed out at the time, in the immediate vicinity of the Huntingdon transmitter).

Hewitt also mentions a second pair of TV hacks that took place in Chicago a decade later (in 1987), the second (much longer one) interrupting an episode of Doctor Who. So if you don’t want to see someone in a “Max Headroom” mask singing badly and then having his mooning arse lightly spanked by someone in a French maid’s outfit with a flyswatter, please look away now:

Again, nobody knows who carried this out, but the incident has its own boring Wikipedia page. No flies were harmed in the making of this hack. Which is nice.

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