You pay BBC fine

The BBC has been fined £50,000 by the media watchdog Ofcom following Blue Peter phone-in scandal.

According to Ofcom, the BBC was guilty of “serious breaches” of the broadcasting code and involving a young child in “deception”. It is the first time ever that the BBC has been fined by Ofcom. However,as confirmed by a BBC spokeswoman last night, the fine will be paid from licence fees.

Approximately 40,000 children entered a phone-in competition on November 27 last year where they had to identify EastEnders character Bradley Branning from a picture of his feet with an additional clue. Up for grabs was a toy.

However, after a technical glitch, a winner was unable to be chosen so a member of the production team asked a young girl visiting the studio with her mother to pose as the winner.

She was then put on air and given the right answer.

The ruse only came to light when another member of the public, who was also visiting the studio at the time, sent an e-mail of complaint to the BBC.

“As our previous statements have made clear, we fully accept the seriousness of this case and apologise for the breach of trust with our audiences," the BBC said in a statement.

It is the second time in a couple of days a fine has been dished out for a phone-in scandal after Eckoh UK Ltd was fined for its involvement in Channel 4’s Richard and Judy You Say, We Pay competition.

Editor, - 2007-07-10 10:54:06

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