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BBC Apologizes For Faking Children’s Game Show

From the ever so superior BBC:

Blue Peter sorry over fake winner

14 March 2007

The BBC has apologised for faking the results of a competition on children’s programme Blue Peter last November.

A technical problem meant that viewers calling in for a competition were not getting through to the studio.

A member of staff asked a child who was visiting the show to pose as a caller and answer a question live on air.

BBC Children’s controller Richard Deverell called the incident a “serious error of judgement”. The BBC did not make money from calls to the programme.

Viewers who did ring in were charged 10p per call, with 3.25p going to children’s charity Unicef.

However, the child who posed as the winning caller took home a prize chosen from a selection of children’s toys.

Premium phoneline regulator Icstis has confirmed it is mounting an investigation into the programme.

The incident was discovered when another visitor to the programme set, Mona Zahoor, wrote to the BBC’s Have Your Say messageboard describing the events.

“We were all quite horrified when it happened,” she told the BBC News website.

An internal investigation confirmed the error and a separate independent review will be carried out into the circumstances surrounding the competition.

“This edition of the programme fell short of the high standards Blue Peter viewers quite rightly expect,” said Blue Peter editor Richard Marson.

“We are very sorry for the way this competition was conducted.”

Blue Peter will broadcast an apology to viewers on Wednesday’s edition of the show.

The competition will also be re-run, with a winner chosen from the callers who contacted the programme on 27 November, 2006.

“I would like to apologise unequivocally to viewers, to all the children who took part in the competition,” said Mr Deverell.

We have already apologised directly to the child involved and her family for this incident.

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.

A freephone number – 08000 565 363 – is available for viewers who took part in the competition and would like more information.

Viewers can also find information on the CBBC website following today’s Blue Peter broadcast.

But Ms Zahoor, whose information led to the discovery, says she thinks the BBC’s reaction is “silly”.

“I didn’t realise that it would be blown out of all proportion,” she said, adding that she had refused to lodge a formal complaint about the show.

But you see the BBC only faked a game show and lied to their audience — for the children. And, more importantly, the United Nations. So “the error” is forgiven.

And the BBC have apologized. (Once they were caught.) But I didn’t see any mention of anyone being fired, or in anyway punished. They just didn’t “rule that out.”

We have already apologised directly to the child involved and her family for this incident.

They apoligized to the kid who faked the phone call and got the prizes? Why?

Anyway, while they are at it, the BBC ought to apologize for the name of the show.

It’s just wrong.

This article was posted by Steve on Wednesday, March 14th, 2007. Comments are currently closed.

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