The UK government has accused Russia’s intelligence services of interfering with voting in Rear of the Year 2017.
The National Cyber Security Centre has said it has “indisputable evidence” hackers employed by the Russian state influenced the poll in favour of Countdown star Rachel Riley.
Her win, in July 2017, was a surprise to many as ‘Love Island’ presenter Caroline Flack had been widely tipped to take the title.
The NCSC said Russian cyber attackers were thought to have cast thousands of extra votes for Riley and created an army of ‘bot’ accounts to spread hundreds of fake social media posts in support of Miss Riley’s backside.
Foreign secretary Jeremy Hunt said it was “wholly unacceptable” the integrity of the Rear of the Year contest – which has been run since 1976 – had been undermined in such a “brazen way” by outside agents.
He confirmed security services were also investigating reports Russia had meddled with voting in the Smash Hits Most Fanciable Male Award in 1994, which was won by Sean Maguire.
Riley’s 2017 victory has been followed up by further success for the ‘8 out of 10 Cats does Countdown’ team, with Jimmy Carr recently winning Arse of the Year.
Gavin Beans, hat-tip to Midfield Diamond and Crayon