Home U.K BBC forced into humiliating apology after interview blunder with fake US Senator

BBC forced into humiliating apology after interview blunder with fake US Senator


The World Service’s Newshour programme spoke to a man believed to be Senator Cory Booker about his views on US foreign policy last week. But listeners quickly noticed the man had a different voice to Mr Booker, who is from New Jersey. One person tweeted: “I’m not sure who the BBC World Service just interviewed on Newshour about US relations with Saudi Arabia, but it definitely wasn’t Senator Cory Booker.”

The impersonator appeared on the programme for six minutes without the error being realised.

However, the show was later taken down from the BBC website and an apology was swiftly issued.

The BBC said in a statement: “In our Newshour radio programme on Friday, a man claiming to be Senator Cory Booker was interviewed in what appears to be a deliberate hoax.

“We have apologised to Senator Booker and are looking into what went wrong to make sure it doesn’t happen again.

“The interview only aired once at 8pm on Newshour on Friday February, 26 and has not appeared anywhere else.”

The BBC did not give further details about how the man ended up on the programme in the first place.

But this is not the first time the BBC has slipped up or put the wrong person on air.

Last week, special correspondent Allan Little made an error on Newsnight when he mistakenly said the Alex Salmond inquiry started more than 100 years ago in 1918.

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Another embarrassing mistake involved a taxi driver named Guy Goma being put on live television for a news segment he had no knowledge of in 2006.

He had been waiting in the foyer of BBC Television Centre to interview for a job in the IT department when the mix up occurred.

A BBC staff member asked “Guy” to come forward, so he followed them and ended up live on BBC News 24.

He was asked about Apple’s legal battle with Apple Corps and looked visibly stunned on the live show.

The BBC was supposed to be interviewing Guy Kewney, a technology journalist.

On Radio 4’s PM programme last year, Evan Davis introduced “Robert Shapiro, an American lawyer who in 1995 was a member of the team of attorneys that successfully defended OJ Simpson”.

But the man on the other end of the line burst out laughing.

He then said: “I am Robert Shapiro, an adviser to Democratic presidents – not the lawyer.

“You called the wrong Robert Shapiro.”


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