Sir Bob Geldof has said that a publicity stunt by the Boomtown Rats which saw 1,000 rodents posted to radio hosts was “basically the end” of the band’s chances of finding success in the US.

The musician and activist told the BBC’s The One Show that the band sent rats that had been soaked in formaldehyde and wrapped in plastic to DJs across America.

He told the programme: “It was 1,000 dead actual rats which were ordered from the sanitation department of New York City and sent out from Chicago to 1,000 disc jockeys who were busy playing disco in the middle of the Seventies.

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“So that was basically the end of the Boomtown Rats in America.”

Sir Bob, 68, said there was a Monday morning “dump on the desk” of the rat bodies for radio presenters across the country.

The singer also discussed a new documentary about the band titled Citizens Of Boomtown.

Sir Bob said that the programme had helped him understand that the band members had all had similar experiences while they were young.

“None of us really had families when we were growing up and we sort of needed to group together to form a kind of alternative family,” he said.

There was “unity and anger and rage” among the band members, he added.