Brits were left bemused as they stopped to admire a new “artwork” that appeared on display outside London's Tate Modern gallery – only to discover it was a shabby old radio.
The Makita DAB radio was displayed in a glass box on a plinth in the middle of Millennium Bridge – and quickly became a talking point as passers-by stopped to examine it.
The digital device belonged to builder Christopher Kitchenside, 37, from Borehamwood, London – and went on display after winning competition to find Britain's dirtiest radio.
It is covered in cement, sand, mud, and brick dust from various building sites, and has a golf ball drilled in to it where the volume dial should be – as well as a car aerial after its original aerial went missing.
And its discolouration led one Londoner to estimate the radio dated back to pre-WW2 – despite actually being just six years old.
But one sculptor passing by gave it her stamp of approval, calling it a modern masterpiece that deserved to be on display alongside her own work inside the Tate.
However, despite convincing art aficionados and commuters of its artistic credentials, when Fix Radio’s Jack Edwards tried to drop the radio off inside the gallery, he was roundly rejected by security.
Multi-trade builder Christopher Kitchenside joked he had his radio “longer than most people have been in a relationship” after it was put on display for all to see.
He said: “It's covered in literally everything. I started doing loft conversions so it's had a bit of sawdust on it and insulation, and we've gone from there. It's had a few different aerials. It's had screws for aerials.”
Jack Edwards, senior producer on The Bald Builders Breakfast on Fix Radio – who put the radio on show as a symbol of the art Britain’s tradespeople carry out every day – said: “Chris' radio represents the best of Britain.
“The device has been alongside him through thick and thin, providing countless hours of entertainment and joy as he worked to make people's homes better.
“As Britain’s radio station for builders, we know each device has been on its own journey, and we want to celebrate their stories and their owners.”
More than 40 tradespeople from across the UK, including builders, painters, scaffolders, and carpenters, took part in Fix Radio's competition to find Britain's dirtiest radio.
Among the runners-up included Tom Morse, 30, who uses his radio to wipe his hands clean after painting.
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The Bridgend-based decorator thought he'd broken his radio after leaving it in the rain for three days – only for it to rise from the dead and start working a week later.
Ben Waldron, 29, from Peterborough, who also works as a painter, had his Makita DAB radio fall out of his van, having to replace the aerial with a spring to get it working again.
The radio was given to him as a hand-me-down from his boss eight years ago, and he still uses the beat-up device to this day.
Another entry came from carpenter Josh Branscombe, 32, from Newcastle, who swapped a sandwich and drink for the Dewalt radio.
One day he couldn't be bothered to carry it down from a roof, so instead threw it off.
Miraculously, only the screen broke, but the radio itself still works – thanks to the help of a cable which doubles-up as an aerial.
Jack Edwards added: “British builders are the backbone of society, and help make our lives much easier.
“Whether it’s re-laying the garden, building an extension, or putting up some shelves, they’re always there for us.
“We wanted to show the art which inspires this generation of builders – the humble radio, which keeps them going throughout the working day.”
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