Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Jo lie-ly

The ongoing search for slips and lies and omissions and fibs at the BBC has uncovered another instance of dubious behaviour: Jo Whiley showering a member of public with prizes while being elsewhere:

The BBC said the DJ, who hosts the late morning show, was unaware that the caller was not a member of the public.

The BBC's governing body, the BBC Trust, said it was "satisfied" managers were taking appropriate action.

On Wednesday, Whiley will apologise on air for the latest editorial slip-up, which happened during a pre-recorded section of her show on 20 April last year.

She usually presents her daily three hour show live, but on this occasion taped part of it so she could be at the opening of the refurbished Broadcasting House in London with the Queen.

We're a little puzzled as to how Whiley could have been "unaware" that the caller wasn't a member of the public - who did she think was calling in to a show that wasn't going out live?

And also: isn't it worse that you'd pretend to be live while heading off for a bit of nosebag and some warm white wine at an event? If you do think that being at a jolly is more important than your audience, at least have the decency to admit what you're doing. The non-existent prize is probably less irritating than lying to everyone when really, there's no reason to.


Anonymous said...

The strangest part of the story for me is this bit mentioned in the Guardian's report (here);

"The BBC said the fact that the competition was pre-recorded did not mean that Whiley knew the winner was faked, as listeners telephoned Radio 1 all the time and one of them could have been asked to participate in the pre-record."

I don't know why, but something about that doesn't seem right. Surely when they run competitions where the caller will go live on air, they'll want to pick someone who'll make good radio (speak clearly, be chatty and interesting, not display any obvious urges to shout 'Hairy Balls' on air). Even if there is a constant stream of callers phoning the station for whatever reason, how likely is it that whoever's answering the phone will also have time to ask the callers if they'd like to enter a competition AND check that they're not completely barking?

(Who are these people phoning Radio 1, by the way? I know it's not me anymore, now I don't have to make my daily enquiry to ask if JK and Joel have been sacked yet).

It sounds like they're frantically trying to protect Jo Whiley here and shift the blame onto anonymous staff instead. Is it me, or is the role of 'BBC Junior Researcher' starting to look as secure as that 'Al Quaeda Second in Command' chap who seems to get killed every couple of weeks?

Simon Hayes Budgen said...

There's an element of "my name above the door", isn't there? Even if Jo did think "there's someone on the phone, but I bet they've just got someone who rang Radio One at random", didn't she think to check?

And - not having heard the show, I genuinely don't know the answer to this - did she solicit calls? Or was that on the basis that, even although she wasn't actually live, people phoning in her for her could perhaps be put through to a JK and Joel pre-recording the chart show...?

Talking of shoddy: do you suppose that Steven Fry deliberately made the noddy shots in last night's HIV and Me deliberately terrible, to make a point?

Chris Brown said...

I have heard stories of people phoning R1 for other purposes being asked to compete in competitions, and at least this was one that could be done by a "cold" caller - they weren't answering something that had already been asked on air.

My memory of the show was that she did admit that at least part of it was going to be on tape - she said she was going to the event anyway, which made it kind of a giveaway. I suppose they just taped more of it than they admitted, although that doesn't answer for me the fundamental question of why radio stations (and presumably not just R1) always seem to be so shifty about pre-recording shows. As a listener, I really can't see the problem with it - you don't get people complaining that The Archers isn't live, do you?

Anonymous said...

It seems to have swung from one way to the other just recently, possibly for fear of being accused of faking. I've been listening to Colin Murray's show since it began, and the way he talks about 'In the Company of' guests has changed completely. Originally he'd always talk as if they were live in the studio with him (even if it was clear they weren't - Nobody on the webcam, listeners' text messages to the guests only read out after they'd 'left' etc - God, I'm a tragic anorak...). Now though, Colin will always make it clear that the interview happened earlier in the week, and he's just playing out the recording.

*rezips anorak*

Post a comment

As a general rule, posts will only be deleted if they reek of spam.