Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Raise the Jolly Roger Blue Peter

The BBC has been caught out again.
The hosts of BBC children's programme Blue Peter have apologised to viewers after the results of a competition were faked last November.

A technical problem meant viewers calling for the Whose Shoes contest did not get through to the studio.

Instead, a visiting child was asked to pose as a caller live on air.

Host Konnie Huq said: "We'd like to say sorry to you because when this mistake happened we let you down." The BBC did not profit from the calls.

Don't you just love that distancing `when this mistake happened'. Not `when we lied to you' nor even `when we made this mistake' but `when this unexpectd and gratuitous act of God which no- one could have foreseen came to pass'.

The contest, on 27 November, was raising money for children orphaned by Aids in Malawi.
Callers were asked to phone in and identify a mystery celebrity's shoes. More than 13,800 people entered, with calls costing 10p each, including 3.25p for the Unicef charity.

What do they do about it? Well first they investigated
An internal investigation confirmed the error and a separate independent review will be carried out into the circumstances surrounding the competition.
OK? Just an error. Not an error of judgment.

Then they
"...apologised directly to the child involved and her family for this incident."

The poor traumatised child.

The poor traumatised presenters.

Mr Deverell called the faking of the competition an "exceptional incident", and said the person responsible had acted "in a panic".

But speaking to Radio Five Live, he refused to rule out the possibility that staff would be sacked over the incident.

I should jolly well hope not! Lying to the public is not what the BBC charter is about.

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