Tag Archives: steal

‘No one is gonna steal the election from me’: Echoes of 2020 in NYC mayor’s race

New York City mayoral candidate Eric Adams speaks at a press conference outside his campaign office on June 17.

New York City mayoral candidate Eric Adams speaks at a press conference outside his campaign office on June 17, 2021 in the Harlem neighborhood of Manhattan in New York City. | Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images

NEW YORK — Hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers head to the polls Tuesday to pick the next mayor of the nation’s biggest city. But the closing days of the election, and perhaps the weeks that follow, may as well be a referendum on the ballot itself.

The city’s new ranked-choice voting system, which will allow voters to pick their top five candidates in order of preference, has upended standard political assumptions since the start of the campaign. Now, a racially-tinged battle has erupted over the process, with the leading candidate leveling accusations of voter disenfranchisement after two of his opponents formed a last-minute alliance to bolster their own campaigns.

The claims by frontrunner Eric Adams, the Brooklyn borough president and former NYPD captain, have laid the groundwork for him to contest the results if the race doesn’t go his way — an echo of the fallout from the 2020 presidential election.

Adams, who is Black, implied the alliance between Kathryn Garcia and Andrew Yang was a form of voter suppression, though such arrangements are one of the intended outcomes of ranked-choice voting. Supporters of the borough president went as far as to say the move was intended to “disenfranchise Black voters,” a claim made in statements distributed by the Adams campaign.

The controversy has led to uncertainty about how the outcome of the election will be received, since no ranked-choice tallies will be released until a week after election day and it could be weeks until a final call is made.

Asked Monday if he would accept the results of the election, Adams didn’t make any promises.

“Can you assure voters that’s not what you’re doing here?” a reporter asked, referencing former President Donald Trump’s claims that the presidential election was stolen.

“Yes,” Adams replied. “I assure voters that no one is gonna steal the election from me.”

But experts in ranked-choice voting, which has never been tried in an election of this size, argue Adams’ concerns are overblown — that in most cases the person leading the pack in the polls and the one who emerges with the most first-place votes on election night wins. In fact, Adams may be turning off some voters by casting doubt on the integrity of the election, they say.

“There have been 429 elections in the U.S. that have used ranked-choice voting. In all but 15, the candidate with the most number of first place votes won,” said Alex Clemens, a veteran Bay Area political strategist and lobbyist with Lighthouse Public Affairs. “It’s unusual when that doesn’t happen.”

The dispute about the election process comes after more than six months of concerted campaigning, much of it from behind Zoom screens as the city was still under pandemic lockdown. After a summer of protests against police brutality and chants of “Defund the Police,” a surge in shootings and rash of hate crimes has put public safety at the forefront of voters’ minds, boosting Adams’ anti-crime appeal.

Yang, whose presidential fame helped him dominate early polls, receded as Adams took the lead within the last few months. Garcia’s message of steady management, and endorsements by the New York Times and Daily News helped her surge to first and second place in some recent polls. And Maya Wiley is riding a late wave of support from the city’s far-left, with progressive luminaries like Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Public Advocate Jumaane Williams backing her campaign in recent weeks.

The new voting system and the rapidly changing dynamics at the top of the field have deprived Adams of the usual comfort a frontrunner would take into an election.

Rob Richie, the president of FairVote, a national nonprofit that advocates for electoral reform, said he was surprised by the vitriol coming from Adams, considering he stands to do pretty well in ranked-choice voting.

“If I was his campaign, I wouldn’t have done some of the same things they’ve done in the last few days,” Richie said. “The more you sort of separate yourself from other people, the more risky that is in a ranked-choice voting strategy.”

The Adams campaign has run a scorched earth operation since Yang, a former presidential candidate, teamed up with Garcia, the former city sanitation commissioner, in the final days of an unruly election season.

Adams said Monday that his competitors were tone deaf for beginning their alliance on Juneteenth, a commemoration of the end of slavery that was recently made a federal holiday.

“African Americans are very clear on voter suppression. We know about the poll tax. We know about the fight that we’ve had historically, how you had to go through hurdles to vote,” he said on CNN. “So if [my supporters] feel, based on their perception, that it suppressed the vote, then I respect their feeling.”

Ashley Sharpton, daughter of the Rev. Al Sharpton, said in a statement issued by the Adams campaign that the alliance was “a cynical attempt by Garcia and Yang to disenfranchise Black voters. We didn’t march in the streets all summer last year and organize for generations just so that some rich businessman and bureaucrat who don’t relate to the masses can steal the election from us.”

In early June, well before the Yang-Garcia alliance, Adams had already begun to sow doubt about the ranked-choice process.

“What happens to everyday New Yorkers? The Board of Elections betrayed us once again and didn’t properly educate and get information out,” he said at a Lower Manhattan campaign stop. “It would be lucky if we get these results by January 18. We don’t know how long this is going to take. I’m really troubled about the outcome of this, I hope the counting does not equal the rollout.”

Under the new voting system, adopted by referendum in 2019, if no one gets more than 50 percent of the vote initially, the last-place candidate is eliminated and their supporters’ votes are redistributed to the voter’s second choice. That process continues until someone gets a majority of all votes.

“It’s been held up as a voting rights remedy and it’s been used in many diverse cities,” Richie said. “What it does, in kind of its most straightforward way, is it encourages candidates to reach out to more diverse groups of people.”

In 2018, London Breed, the first Black woman elected mayor of San Francisco, faced a similar scenario to what Adams is facing in New York.

“A Black candidate was leading the polls, and a white candidate and an Asian candidate formed an alliance,” Clemens said. “Ultimately the Black candidate, London Breed, prevailed.”

There are exceptions: In a 2018 Congressional race in Maine, an incumbent Republican was defeated despite winning the most first-choice votes. Rep. Jared Golden, a Democrat, won by picking up more down-ballot votes from two independent candidates. Mayor’s races in Oakland and San Leandro, Calif., and Burlington, Vt., have also been won by candidates who weren’t in first place in initial voting. But those instances represent less than 4 percent of the ranked-choice elections that have been conducted in the U.S.

“The headline for ranked-choice voting is that 96 percent of the time, the leader prevails,” Clemens said.

Other Black leaders condemned Adams’ attempts to inject racial politics into the maneuver by Yang and Garcia.

“It is disingenuous and dangerous to play on the very real and legitimate fears of bigotry and voter disenfranchisement by pretending it’s present where it’s not,” said Public Advocate Jumaane Williams, who is supporting Wiley, former counsel to de Blasio.

Wiley, who is vying to be the first Black woman elected mayor, also decried Adams’ comments as “cynical and insensitive.”

“The leadership we need right now is a leadership that says, ‘Trust in our voting system because it works.’ We are not the city where we are suppressing the vote,” she said at a campaign stop in Washington Heights Monday.

Sal Albanese, a former City Council member who was appointed by Adams to the charter revision commission that proposed ranked choice voting for the ballot, said the borough president showed little interest in the process at the time.

“I really never heard from Eric,” said Albanese, who said he attempted to brief Adams but had five scheduled phone calls canceled. “I tried to brief him throughout the process, but it was radio silence.”

Albanese, who is running for Council again, has endorsed Yang.

“I think it’s unfounded,” he said of Adams’ criticisms of the Yang-Garcia alliance. “In my view, it’s a cynical political move. Ranked-choice voting, he understands it fully. He knows that there are alliances that are made.”

Jesse Naranjo, Janaki Chadha and Sally Goldenberg contributed to this report.

Author: Erin Durkin and David Giambusso
This post originally appeared on Politics, Policy, Political News Top Stories

Cybercriminals steal nearly $1B from Texas unemployment fund

Investigative Summary:
Since the pandemic hit in March 2020, cybercriminals have launched an assault on the nation’s unemployment systems. The Texas Workforce Commission’s nearing $ 1 billion in lost unemployment payments to identity thieves. Our investigation found that while it had some fraud protection in place, TWC didn’t hire an identity theft prevention vendor until months into the pandemic after thousands of fraudlent claims had already passed through the system.
READ MORE: TWC spent $ 129M on unemployment contractors. Most weren’t trained to solve complex issues

AUSTIN (KXAN) – Texas is under attack. So is nearly every other state in the union. The assault is silent and those hit don’t know they’re hit until it’s too late.

“My husband received two different notifications from the Texas Workforce Commission informing him that he had applied for unemployment insurance,” Lisa Martin said, holding the tri-folded notification letters.

Lisa Martin shows the unemployment notice saying her husband would receive benefits of $  535 each week. The TWC later told the Martins the claim filed in his name was fraudulent. (KXAN Photo/Jody Barr)
Lisa Martin shows the unemployment notice saying her husband would receive benefits of $ 535 each week. The TWC later told the Martins the claim filed in his name was fraudulent. (KXAN Photo/Jody Barr)

There was one problem: Miller’s husband isn’t unemployed. He’s worked for the Texas Department of Transportation for years.

The TWC letter shows Miller was set to receive $ 535 weekly with a total eligibility of up to $ 13,910. Someone, somewhere, stole her husband’s personal identifying information – including his social security number – and filed a claim.

The state caught the fraud in one of its basic fraud checks. The TWC sent notification letters to the Martins and to TxDOT. Both were able to notify the TWC of the fraudulent claim immediately.

“I kind of credit his employer, who is TxDOT, with quickly notifying the Texas Workforce Commission and hopefully stopping things before they’ve gone too far,” Martin told KXAN. “And, I know that when my husband spoke with people in the human resources department, some of those people themselves had just had their information taken. So, they were quite familiar with this.”

Story continues below …

Since January, TxDOT said it received 529 fraudulent unemployment claims filed using stolen identities of employed TxDOT workers. The Martins also received a letter from the TWC confirming the unemployment application was an act of fraud.

The Martins have placed locks and monitoring on their digital identities and filed a report with the Austin Police Department.

“We haven’t been contacted by anyone. We have a report, number, a summary incident report with the Austin Police Department. They wanted to know whether we knew who had committed this fraud, and of course, we don’t,” Martin told KXAN investigator Jody Barr.

“Do you have any confidence that the person or people who did this to you all will ever be caught?” Barr asked.

“No. Not at all,” Martin replied.

Since March 2020, the TWC’s received 5.1 million unemployment claims with an average of 81,000 claims each month. In May, the TWC told KXAN the agency received 737,000 “suspicious claims,” meaning ones the agency suspects were fraudulent.

Between March 2020 and May 2021, the TWC reports losing $ 893.5 million in payments to fraudulent unemployment applications.

$ 893 million ‘is what they know about’

To figure out how this happened and why the state’s identity theft prevention systems allowed the nearly $ 1 billion theft to occur, we decided to interview the man who helped develop and perfect the systems cybercriminals around the world used to steal nearly $ 1 trillion from the nation’s unemployment system since last March.

The U.S. Secret Service created this wanted poster for Brett Shannon Johnson after he avoided arrest in an October 2004 global raid connected to the criminal investigation dubbed
The U.S. Secret Service created this wanted poster for Brett Shannon Johnson after he avoided arrest in an October 2004 global raid connected to the criminal investigation dubbed “Anglerphish.” (U.S. Secret Service Photo)

Convicted of 39 felonies, Brett Johnson was dubbed the “Original Internet Godfather” by federal investigators.  

“So when you tell me $ 893 million, I’ll tell you that’s what they know about. I want to say it’s double, maybe triple that just in the state of Texas,” Johnson estimated.

Johnson, once a U.S. Secret Service “Most Wanted” fugitive, served seven years in Texas federal prisons for helping to steal identities to commit fraud. He was one of 28 cybercriminals busted in a 2004 federal investigation known as “Operation Anglerphish.” Johnson helped found ShadowCrew, the precursor to today’s Dark Web.

Johnson, now reformed, works as a consultant for the federal government and private corporations to help fight the crime he helped perfect.  

Johnson estimates his thefts totaled $ 7 million between 1998 and 2006.

“I was very fortunate that I was given the opportunity through the FBI, and with the help of my wife and sister, I found that reformation. I was given a chance to use all the knowledge I’ve got to help people instead of hurt people,” Johnson told KXAN.

The TWC reported 1,142 fraud claims in all of 2019. Amid the pandemic, between March 2020 and August 2020, the TWC saw its 2019 fraud claim numbers triple to 3,500. Between September 2020 and May 2021, the TWC reported 735,000 fraud claims and a loss of nearly $ 1 billion.

“These numbers continue to explode. And, the reason why is that cybercrime is not rocket science. It does not take a genius to commit these types of crimes,” Johnson said.

Story continues below

All a criminal needs is what’s known as Personally Identifiable Information, or PII — your name, address, birth date, email address, banking information — anything that can be used to take on a victim’s identity.

Criminals, seeing the trillions of dollars flowing into the nation’s unemployment agencies, went on the attack.

Brett Johnson was convicted of 39 felonies related to a cybercriminal network he founded in 1998. Johnson now works as a consultant for private corporations and the federal government. (Courtesy Brett Johnson)
Brett Johnson was convicted of 39 felonies related to a cybercriminal network he founded in 1998. Johnson now works as a consultant for private corporations and the federal government. (Courtesy Brett Johnson)

“The pandemic shut down the economy in six weeks. They knew if they didn’t get money out quickly, that the — that the whole thing was going to go belly up. So, they put these stimulus programs in place. But guess what? They didn’t put any security in place. And, I mean, no security, no controls in place at all,” Johnson said.

A chief executive with Lexis Nexus, a private identity theft company, said his company’s review of U.S. unemployment systems puts it at a level to be considered a national security threat.

“Transnational criminal groups, primarily from Russia, Nigeria, and China, took advantage of the fact that the unemployment insurance systems in this country were more focused on program integrity, and not focused on imposter fraud,” said Haywood Talcove, who heads Lexis Nexis’ government division.

“There hasn’t been a state in the country that we’ve looked at, that hasn’t seen fraud rates between 35 and 40%,” Talcove said. Typical fraud rates hover between 8% and 10%, according to Talcove.

Talcove considers Texas’ fraud to be a “complete lack of planning” spread between the nation’s government internet technology departments and unemployment agencies.  

“Now, in their defense, I don’t think they ever would have suspected that transnational criminal groups would have infiltrated the system at this scale,” Talcove said, citing a U.S. Department of Labor statistic.

‘Super Bowl for Fraudsters’

The Texas Workforce Commission said it could have stopped nearly all of the $ 893.5 million in fraud payments that ended up in the hands of identity thieves. But, doing so would have created massive delays in unemployment payments to those who truly needed them.

“If we had a system that was ironclad that stopped all fraud, it would slow the system down so that those folks that you were talking about who are struggling to get by and could be losing their houses, their payments might be delayed by weeks and months,” James Bernsen, the TWC’s Director of Communications, told KXAN.

James Bernsen, TWC's Director of Communications, said identity theft fraud against the Texas unemployment system has never slowed down since the start of the pandemic. (KXAN Photo)
James Bernsen, TWC’s Director of Communications, said identity theft fraud against the Texas unemployment system has never slowed down since the start of the pandemic. (KXAN Photo)

TWC figures show the agency went from an average of 7,000 monthly unemployment claims to 1.3 million claims during the first month of the state’s shutdown in 2020. The state’s priority was to pay the avalanche of claims while trying to identify and fight the fraud within those claims.

“You really have two things that you’re trying to do in an unemployment system: you’re trying to pay out benefits quickly, and you’re trying to stop fraud,” Bernsen said.

Bernsen said the TWC didn’t initially notice its 2019 total fraud claim numbers had tripled between March and August. Agency records show 1,142 claims in all of 2019. By August 2020, that number for the year grew to 3,500.

“With 3,500, even that number is really manageable with the staff and the processes we had in place. That was about the time though, when we saw, like I said, that this didn’t just start off, you know, day one, zero to 60. It started slowly, gradually increasing. And, as we saw that we started looking at the need for this, and the need of putting in a dedicated system for this,” Bernsen said.

The agency’s basic theft protections were in place from the start.

Once an unemployment claim’s filed, the TWC sends notification letters to both the applicant and employer. At that point, either side would know whether the claim is authentic and can notify the TWC if it is not. The agency said it has other internal fraud prevention processes in place but would not explain what those are.

Unemployed Texans are still experiencing trouble getting through to the Texas Workforce Commission to resolve their unemployment problems. The latest problems identified in dozens of emails to KXAN have to do with contracted call takers not being able to access claimants' accounts. (KXAN Photo/Ben Friberg)
Unemployed Texans are still experiencing trouble getting through to the Texas Workforce Commission to resolve their unemployment problems. The latest problems identified in dozens of emails to KXAN have to do with contracted call takers not being able to access claimants’ accounts. (KXAN Photo/Ben Friberg)

KXAN filed an open records request with the TWC, asking for records showing whether the agency implemented additional identity theft prevention into the system after the pandemic hit.

“This is the Super Bowl for fraudsters. They want to try to get access to all this money, this money that’s available in all the states in America. And we’ve seen that and we stopped it in a lot of cases,” Bernsen said.

On Oct. 30, the TWC signed a $ 1.7 million contract with ID.me, a private company that specializes in identity verification. Part of what the company uses to ensure the person filing the claim is actually the claimant are government documents like a driver license and has claimants upload selfies.

But, the TWC said ID.me was not intended to catch fraud — only to verify a claimant once fraud was detected in an account.

“So it’s not the fraud that precipitated the need for ID.me, but the need to clear the fraud holds,” Bernsen told KXAN.

That system didn’t go into place until November 20, 2020, eight months into the pandemic.

“Obviously, we’d like to have brought that in as quick as possible, and anticipatory. But, again, these were issues that really no state had ever seen before. And, so, we brought it in as soon as we determined that this was an important need. And we started working to put that system in place,” Bernsen told KXAN.

The TWC reported $ 49.2 billion in unemployment benefits paid to 8.1 million Texans since mid-March 2020. The agency reported “preventing” $ 9.4 billion in fraud claims during that time, but $ 893 million was paid out to suspected fraud claims.

Despite losing nearly $ 1 billion to fraudsters, Bernsen said the TWC is doing “very well” in its fraud prevention. Bernsen pointed to California’s unemployment system that lost $ 400 million to fraud after identity thieves used prisoner PII to claim benefits.

“We don’t even have that issue because we check our claims against our prisoner database. The total California UI fraud is $ 11 billion (LA Times source for both), which is more than 12 times more than the total Texas fraud identified,” Bernsen wrote to KXAN in a response to our request for an interview with Gov. Greg Abbott for this report.

Abbott told FOX News earlier this week he plans to end Texas’ extended unemployment benefits. Part of his reason was the governor said businesses were concerned “about a lack of availability of a workforce” and the state had more job openings than people on unemployment.

Abbott also cited a TWC figure that 18% of all Texas’ pandemic unemployment claims were fraudulent. The figure aligns with the same statistics the TWC provided KXAN.

“So, we need to get people off of the unemployment line and get them back into the workforce so they can be earning a paycheck,” Abbott said in the FOX News broadcast.

The governor appoints each of the three TWC commissioners.

Abbott did not respond to KXAN’s request for an interview, but his office sent the TWC our request for response. Abbott’s office had not responded to any request from KXAN to be interviewed on this topic since our investigations into the TWC started in 2020.

Senior Investigative Producer David Barer, Investigative Photographer Ben Friberg, Graphic Artist Rachel Garza, Director of Investigations & Innovation Josh Hinkle, Digital Executive Producer Kate Winkle and Graphic Artist Jeremy Wright contributed to this report.

Author: Jody Barr
This post originally appeared on KXAN Austin

Watch out for these fake Android and iOS apps that could steal your Bitcoin

In the case of this victim, the bogus app was for a Hong Kong based trading and investment company called Goldenway Group – with download links for either iOS or Android.

Scammers then guided the victim through the installation process, encouraging them to purchase cryptocurrency and transfer it into their wallet.

When the victim later asked for the virtual currency to be transferred back the scammer made excuses, before blocking the victim’s account.

But this one app was just the tip of the iceberg. Sophos went on to say: “As we investigated the fraudulent Goldenway app, we discovered that the scheme was much more wide-ranging. We found hundreds of fake trading apps being pushed through the same infrastructure, each disguised to look like the official trading apps of different financial organisations.”

Sophos went on to explain that some of the fake apps they investigated were design to have a UI that was just like their legitimate counterparts.

This post originally appeared on Daily Express :: Tech Feed

Car parking scam: Fraudsters steal £1,500 off motorist at pay and display machine

The incident in Brighton should be a major warning to road users with the local council warning drivers to “be aware” when parking. Bahawodin Baha was approached in the car park by a man who was unable to buy a ticket for himself and did not speak English.
They urged road users to report any similar incidents for further investigation.

They said: “We’ve been made aware of a scam performed at one of our Pay & Display machines.

“A bank card was stolen after thieves asked the owner to help them pay for a ticket.

“Please be aware and if this has happened to you, report it to Sussex Police.”

Variations of the scam also exist with some fraudsters urging road users to insert a second card to help remove the other one.

This allows fraudsters to steal personal details on two cards instead of one and could double their take.

The fraud is known as the Lebanese Loop and uses a device that captures card information while the suspect watches you enter your pin.

Action Fraud has said the scam isn’t that common but has urged road users to contact their card provider if this happens to them.

Drivers have been urged to enter their card details in front of people and said drivers should always conceal their card as best they can.

The scam comes just months after Richmond Council issued a warning over a similar parking fraud which swallowed drivers cards.

Speaking to Express.co.uk after the incident, Peter O’Driscoll, CEO of RingGo warned machines can be broken into.

He said: “We tend to pick things up from the operators themselves.

“They have either had the machine broken into and someone’s defrauded the council.

“For example cutting a hole inside of the machine or tampering with a lock on the box and then taking the money out.”

Read More

George Harrison: Eric Clapton ‘used voodoo to steal’ Beatles star’s wife Pattie Boyd

By 1974 George Harrison and his wife Boyd had unofficially separated. The couple first met in 1964 on the set of The Beatles’ first film, A Hard Day’s Night. The photographer became famous in her own right as a well-regarded model, who epitomised the fashion industry throughout the 1960s, and into the 1970s. But after years of infidelity on Harrison’s part, Boyd said she couldn’t take any more and left the singer.
The pair’s divorce wasn’t finalised until 1977, long after she had already started a relationship with singer-songwriter Clapton.

Clapton had been infatuated with Boyd for years, and apparently hated seeing Harrison squander his relationship with her.

His obsession with Boyd even prompted him to date her younger sister, Paula Boyd, who was apparently the spitting image of her older sister.

Eventually, things got so desperate for Clapton that he looked for another way to break up Harrison’s marriage.

According to Phillip Norman’s 2018 biography, Slowhand: the life and music of Eric Clapton, the guitarist paid a visit to American blues singer and pianist, Dr John to ask for help from an unexpected source.

READ MORE: The Beatles: Ringo Starr on missing John Lennon and George Harrison

On top of being a well-regarded musician – who went on to win six Grammy Awards – Dr John also dabbled in voodoo magic.

His interest in the craft came from fabled New Orleans voodoo, and quickly became one of his selling points in the music industry.

Clapton went to New Orleans to see Dr John in 1970 where he opened up about wanting to win over Boyd from Harrison.

The singer used the traditions of New Orleans to give Clapton a “love potion number 9”, a technique that would make Boyd leave her husband.

Clapton left Dr John with a small box of woven straw he was told to carry in his pocket.

He was also given written instructions for a “ritual” that would cast a spell to “make his dream come true”.

Harrison didn’t reply, but simply asked Boyd which of them she wanted to continue her life with.

Unfortunately for Clapton, Dr John’s voodoo magic didn’t work as expected, because Boyd replied: “I’m coming home with you, Harrison.”

Of course, just a few years later Boyd and Clapton got together and eventually married in 1979.

Despite the change in dynamic between the three, Harrison was still on great terms with Boyd and Clapton.

He even performed at their wedding reception and referred to himself as their husband-in-law.

Despite the amicable end to the marriage, Harrison wasn’t unhurt by the breakdown of his marriage.

He filtered all of his emotions into a touching song titled So Sad on his fifth album, Dark Horse.

Some of the lyrics included in the song read: “It is easy to see how, with lyrics such as: “And he feels so alone / With no love of his own / So sad, so bad, so sad, so bad.”

Read the rest of the story Here.


Simon Mayo hits out at BBC for 'annoying' listeners as he launches bid to steal audience

Simon Mayo, 62, revealed that his BBC Radio 2 listeners were “annoyed” after the broadcaster merged his show with Jo Whiley’s in order to attract more female listeners. He was at the helm of the Drivetime slot for eight years but resigned following the decision to join the two together, admitting his fans were “not impressed”.
Simon, who now hosts a Drivetime show on Greatest Hits Radio, looked back at the debacle in a recent interview, saying: “When things are changed, people don’t like it.

“They [listeners] felt annoyed.”

The radio DJ also hopes to lure his former regulars from the “dark side”.

READ MORE: Simon Mayo: ‘It was awkward’ Radio 2 star opens up on co-hosting

“Hopefully they’ll come over and find us on Greatest Hits,” he grinned, while talking to The Mirror.

Jo joined Simon’s award-winning show after moving from the evening slot she had presented since 2011.

But he admitted at the time it was an “awkward and stressful few months”.

The DJ also confessed that he no longer listens to the BBC show, but wishes his friends and former colleagues all the best.

In a statement given by the BBC at the time Bob Shennan, former Radio 2 controller and now BBC’s Director of Radio and Music, said: “I’m delighted that two of Radio 2’s most popular presenters are now presenting a brand new show each weekday, which I’m confident will become one of the network’s most listened to shows.”

However, figures dropped significantly following the move and Simon announced his departure on 22 October 2018.

Alongside his new station slot, he will continue to front his weekend show on Scala Radio, where he found himself at the centre of a legal issue with the BBC, over the copyright surrounding Ken Bruce’s popular quiz PopMaster.

Debuting his own feature ‘OpMaster’ on his Scala show, the broadcaster found the gag “strangely reminiscent” of the original.

“There were some legal conversations that happened and we didn’t do it again. But it made people laugh,” Simon explained.

“But everyone is cool, everyone is grown up, and radio is an intelligent industry. As far as I know, nobody has any problems.”

The Simon Mayo Drivetime Show launches on Greatest Hits Radio at 4pm on 15 March.