A satellite glitch - not political censorship - knocked out transmission of a National Day radio report from the BBC World Service, RTHK said yesterday. The local station, which runs a relay service for the British broadcaster, said interruption of the 1pm news bulletin on October 1 was caused by a weather phenomenon which interferes with the satellite signal. Terry Nealon, head of RTHK's English news service, said there was a six-minute programme gap until engineers could connect a broadcast-quality phone line to the BBC and continue transmission. Listeners heard classical music and a recorded message that there were technical problems instead of the news. When the service resumed, the report on National Day activities in Beijing had finished. Mr Nealon said: 'There's nothing sinister behind it. We're not censoring anything from Beijing.' He said the problem was with solar flares - sudden eruptions of energy from the surface of the sun which can interfere with communication and navigation satellites and short-wave radio signals. The flares knocked out both the satellite signal and the back-up short-wave service from Singapore, Mr Nealon said. He said the BBC's television service in Hong Kong was often affected by solar flares. Space Museum assistant curator Wong Yiu-wah said problems with solar flares would intensify in the next few years as the sun approached the middle of its 11-year activity cycle. 'Three or four big events each year' could be expected, he said. Mr Nealon said that during the gap in BBC transmission, RTHK's English-language news service was reporting on National Day.