’s and have been hit with more than 100 complaints over ‘damaging’ and ‘bullying’ remarks they made about a small business, which listeners have slammed.
Alongside ex-Radio 1 DJ Chris Stark, upset Chocolate Moments owner Maria Antoniou as well as a raft of fans when they made ‘vile’ and ‘uncalled for’ comments which appeared to ridicule one of her products.
Maria, who has appeared on ’s Next Big Thing on , has had viral success with her Bar of Crisps, which stuffs blocks of chocolate with potato chips in flavours including cheese and onion, salt and vinegar and even lamb and mint.
However, the trio targeted Maria’s business – reducing her to tears – as they laughed over the product when they saw that production was on hold during a last week.
‘So what? It’s already failed? It’s gone into bankruptcy already? Oh no! I was quite excited,’ Welby joked on air, over a mocking jaunty tune, as she looked over the flavours on offer and questioned its popularity.
‘It says it’s all out of stock. Do you think it’s ever been in stock?,’ she added, laughing.
Stark then chimed in to criticise the quality of Chocolate Moments’ website as looking ‘like a child’s made it’, while Welby wondered out loud if she ‘had a virus on my computer now’.
also admitted that she didn’t ‘even want to say the brand in case it’s some kind of con,’ while the trio mocked the fact that the website included Maria’s name and a mobile number as contact information.
Welby additionally quipped that Chocolate Moments was ‘probably being run out of a garage’.
Ofcom confirmed to Metro.co.uk that 107 complaints had been received in relation to Capital Breakfast with Roman Kemp on Monday, January 15.
‘Complaints related to comments made by the presenters about a product which combined chocolate with crisps – specifically that suggestions that the business website was a con were potentially damaging,’ the statement read.
‘It was just really hurtful and knocked my confidence a huge amount. I cried a lot and it was only the support of my loyal customers that really got me through it,’ Maria told Metro.co.uk.
‘Not having stock at the moment is hugely frustrating, but I’m trying my hardest to find a UK based manufacturer to make them for me.’
This came after demand far outstripped supply for Bar of Crisps, with a message at the top of the Chocolate Moments website confirming that Maria ‘now cannot physically make them alone’.
She also said she felt she was ‘used for some cheap laughs’ and was unimpressed with private ‘apologies’ received.
Sharing a clip of herself listening along to the show and reacting on the official @chocolate_momentsuk Instagram account, Maria wrote in the caption: ‘So many have said how triggering the comments, cackling and bullying behaviour is so I’ve added in a warning.
‘So keen to hear your thoughts on the utter annihilation of my website, phone number, email…!!!’
She was flooded with support in the comments, as @homeorganised_at_no10 responded: ‘I think you need to apologise to the lady behind the @chocolate_momentsuk who started this incredible small business and I must say the chocolate is amazing maybe you should try it before you laugh and be horrible. Kindness.’
‘Wow!! What a bunch of bullies!! They sound horrible!’ wrote Liz. ‘If they ever do a phone in you should call them and call them out on their behaviour!! How dare they ridicule someone’s business like that!’
Nicola Dunklin chimed in: ‘Oh what a shame! Can’t they think that they are totally messing with someone’s livelihood? A business you have put your heart and soul in to, and worked hard at building up, for years. How mean of them. Definitely get in touch.’
Others said they were ‘shocked’ at the presenters’ behaviour, which they also branded ‘disgusting’ and ‘uncalled for’.
User @teechudesigns labelled it ‘absolutely shameful’, adding: ‘I hope you do get an apology and a lot of positive response from all of this!’
On Instagram, Maria followed up to thank her followers for their ‘love, support and validation’.
‘I’ve turned comments off now as I really didn’t want to start a war with the radio station or its presenters. As much as their words hurt, I just want to focus on finding a manufacturer,’ she wrote.
She also revealed that two of the three presenters had contacted her but dismissed the ‘apology’ received as ‘very flippant and not meaningful’.
Maria has also claimed to Metro.co.uk that she has yet to receive any kind of apology from Global or the third presenter.
Metro.co.uk has contacted reps for Global, Roman Kemp, Sian Welby and Chris Stark for comment.