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The BBC Proms....not at the BBC!

Eddie Mair | 12:47 UK time, Wednesday, 9 April 2008

Here is the newly-published guide to the world's biggest classical music festival, photographed here at Television Centre this morning:

proms.JPG

Published by BBC Books, on sale all over the country, prominently displayed at our in-building branch of W H Smith.

But not a few steps away at the BBC Shop, where they stock just about everything else ever made, published or licenced by the BBC. The staff said they had no copies. Not one. Why?

1500 UPDATE: BBC Worldwide, the BBC's commercial arm have been in touch to say:

"The day-to-day responsibility for running the BBC's retail stores was transferred from BBC Worldwide to English Regions at the end of last year and has to date worked very well. The issue concerning stock of the BBC Proms booklet at the Television Centre shop centres around a minor administration error which has already been addressed. The Proms booklet is due to go on sale from April 11th and will be available to purchase from that date at our Television Centre outlet.

"It seems that the on-sale date embargo put in place by the publisher, BBC Books, has not been adhered to by other retailers."

Asked if there was any truth in a rumour that the lack of Proms booklets was due to an unpaid bill by the shops to Random House, who through Ebury Publishing, now control BBC Books, a BBC Worldwide spokesman said, "We do not comment on day-to-day commercial issues."

There's no comment as yet from Ebury Books.

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