GCHQ cracks Frank Sidebottom's secret codes | Eurasia Diary - ednews.net

24 October, Thursday

GCHQ cracks Frank Sidebottom's secret codes

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Intelligence agency GCHQ has cracked secret codes hidden by the man behind cult comedy character Frank Sidebottom.

Chris Sievey drew cryptic symbols in artwork around the borders of some of Frank's fan newsletters, football programmes and record and tape sleeves.

Sievey died in 2010 and the codes remained secret until the director of a new documentary took them to GCHQ.

A crack team of codebreakers revealed that the messages said things like: "Why does my nose hurt after concerts?"

That's a reference to the nose peg Sievey wore under Sidebottom's giant head to give the character his trademark nasal voice.

Sievey, from Manchester, told friends and family he was hiding important messages in code.

Director Steve Sullivan, whose film Being Frank tells the story of Sievey and Sidebottom, took the rows of symbols to several codebreakers, but none could help.

Sullivan told BBC News: "My own attempts to crack it proved absolutely futile. I spent a while just looking at them going, 'What could he be saying, what could this mean?'

"But it was impossible to crack them, and it was entirely plausible that there wasn't code there and that he was just winding people up."


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