Bbc Admits Radio 1 Phone-in Scandal

by | 02 October 2007
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The BBC has today admitted to being involved in another phone-in competition scandal.

A statement from the broadcaster confirmed that a BBC staff member posed as a contest entrant on a phone-in contestant on BBC Radio 1's Jo Whiley show.

After being moved to apologise for faking competitions on flagship children's show Blue Peter – as well as switching the results of a phone vote to name the show's new cat – the latest development comes as an unwanted embarrassment.

The statement issued today reads: "A pre-recorded section of Radio 1's Jo Whiley Show on 20th April 2006 featured a phone competition in which a member of BBC staff posed as a caller from the audience.

"The incident came to light following the recent publication of further editorial breaches."

Released by the BBC press office, the statement confirms that several staff members have been disciplined.

According to the broadcaster, Whiley was not involved in any unfair practices, confirming:

"We would like to make clear that Jo Whiley was unaware that the caller was not a genuine member of the public."

The BBC also admitted to using fake callers for competitions on Comic Relief, Sport Relief and its digital radio station 6 Music.

It also donated phone profits from the Saturday Kitchen show after it was found that phone lines remained open when a contest winner had already been chosen.

The BBC Trust issued a statement in response to today's revelation, after its Editorial Standards Committee met.

It read: "The Trust's Editorial Standards Committee has today received a report from BBC management about a breach of editorial standards by Radio 1 which occurred in 2006, but which was not included in the report received by the Trust at its September meeting.

"The Trust is satisfied that BBC management is taking appropriate action in light of this finding and that the breach raises no new issues which require any change to the Director-General's action plan."

02/10/2007 15:12:35


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