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Spoof newsflash

Peter Horrocks Peter Horrocks | 14:20 UK time, Monday, 26 June 2006

Who'd have thought my first proper entry on the new BBC News editors' blog would be prompted by the activities of Noddy, Tracey Beaker and the whereabouts of the Queen's handbag.

Yes, the Party at the Palace may have been a grand day out, but for some people the opening sequence left them with their hearts in their mouths, as Huw Edwards broke the news of a "serious incident at Buckingham Palace".

Huw Edwards and Sophie Raworth during Sunday's 'newsflash'Of course within a very short space of time it became clear that this was all part of the show. But enough people were misled by the spoof news bulletin for it to have caused concern.

Viewers contacted the BBC yesterday to say they felt it was inappropriate to begin the Children's Party at the Palace with a made-up news report.

Here's a sample: "I have a daughter and two grand children there, my heart was in my mouth. It was awful to open like that. There was no fun at that, for goodness sake how irresponsible". And there's more in a similar vein: "I cannot believe the crass insensitivity of this fake newsflash. We had a daughter caught up in the London bombings and a granddaughter at the palace. I was terrified when I saw this."

The tone of Huw and Sophie's news report had of course been considered and we assumed people would respond in the context of the fun and fantasy of the party at the palace. But having watched the opening sequence again, I can quite see the combination of Jonathan Ross's hurriedly broken off introduction, then the newsroom with Huw's sombre expression could have led some to have to concern.

All I can do is apologise for anyone who was momentarily misled. The lesson for us all is simply one of clear labelling... even if Ronnie Corbett as the butler Tibbs and Meera Syal as maid Mary are the main eyewitnesses to the crime.


  • 1.
  • At 02:35 PM on 26 Jun 2006,
  • Lewis Walsh wrote:

It'll be a sorry day for the BBC when anything remotely fictitious has to be introduced as such just in case anyone has doubts.

Surely with the relief of realising it was fake came the thrill of experiencing that little bit of drama? Without danger, there is no drama.

I would expect the British public to be able to tell the difference.
Fake news flashs have been around long enough, I find it hard to believe anyone would get scared by it.

The news report didn't bother me, I was very disappointed though about the Queen's speech.

What on earth were her advisers / speech writers / pr gurus etc thinking? With an audience of thousands of young children in person plus who knows how many via TV, apart from one sentence at the start, her choice of language and manner of presentation left me thinking more of an address to a particularly dull session of parliament than a kids party.

I note that The Sun's take on this story was that the BBC was "flooded" with complaints.

But were they justified in referring to it in this typically sensationalist way? How many complaints did the BBC actually receive about this item, and did the BBC consider it to be a veritable "flood" when compared to complaints received about other items?

  • 5.
  • At 03:05 PM on 26 Jun 2006,
  • Irene Boogerman wrote:

Yet another blog? Booooooooooooooring. I expect better of the BBC (used to be known as the British Broadcasting Corporation - could now be the Blogging Broadcasting Corp???)

  • 6.
  • At 03:10 PM on 26 Jun 2006,
  • John Airey wrote:

The fake newsflash wasn't the least bit funny or amusing. It's bad enough that you put fake news reports into other TV programmes (eg Dr Who) that could be misunderstood as real but to scare the families of 2,000 children witless was simply irresponsible.

  • 7.
  • At 03:27 PM on 26 Jun 2006,
  • Monique wrote:

I agree with the complaints you got on this. I was in the other room at home and overheard the TV when Jonathan Ross said there was a serious incident etc. My ears pricked up and once I realised it was all part of the show I thought it was in very bad taste. How could you not have realised this? It was like a bad April fools joke gone wrong.

  • 8.
  • At 03:32 PM on 26 Jun 2006,
  • mark glynne-jones wrote:

I've four children 6-15 who really enjoyed the programme but the opening was totally wrong. How sad that for the opening minute or so we all had our hearts in our mouths. Perhaps for the next genuine newsflash we can have Noddy rather than Huw?

Just a thought.

  • 9.
  • At 03:34 PM on 26 Jun 2006,
  • Matthew Adams wrote:

I think that the issue here is not that of the *content* of the "made up news report", but of the context in which it appeared.

For example, a made-up report in a drama, clearly contextualized, is entirely reasonable, however realistic. The audience will not be misled, but can enjoy the thrill.

If the drama appears to come to a halt, and we break to a news report (exactly as we would for the "real thing"), then that is likely to cause distress (however momentary), and is not, in my opinion, reasonable.

In this case, although it became apparent quite rapidly that this was in fact a spoof, it takes only a few seconds for people to begin to rehearse the kind of emotional response described in your blog. In the interests of disclosure, I was one of those people myself, and I did not enjoy the experience.

It just goes to show how difficult an editorial judgement can be. In the script, you probably had less than half a page devoted to this particular aspect of the show - almost too little to consider!

You may recall a show of a few years ago called "Ghostwatch" - a one-off play that was designed to look like a "Live" BBC production, and hosted by Sarah Greene and Michael Parkinson. Although it had the trappings of drama (titles including a "Written By" credit, cast list in the Radio Times etc), it fooled people quite comprehensively into thinking that they were experiencing a real life horror, live on their TV.

Although many people (myself included) thought that this was a brilliant, innovative and downright scary show, it caused innumerable complaints - because the context wasn't sufficiently clear to most viewers.

Just as in this case, the boundary between fantasy and reality was deliberately blurred for dramatic effect - and a line appears to have been crossed.

  • 10.
  • At 03:53 PM on 26 Jun 2006,
  • Andy wrote:

I'm amazed that people have become so sensitive to everything. If you were scared or concerned momentarily at the fictional, well, isn't that the point?

There are far more important things to complain about... and blog about for that matter.

What am I doing here?

I'm surprised people were bothered. On the very same day the headline order of the commercial channels' news gave nowhere near as much prominence to the Royal party.

I imagine that's because they get hurt financially if they run stories the majority of people aren't interested in.

I was surprised at quite how realistic this was - even Chris Morris when he was doing the obviously fantastic newsflash about Clive Anderson and Noel Edmonds stuck a moustache on the female newsreader to give just that little bit of distance. Although I suppose, had it been a genuine newsflash, there would have been an on-screen aston summarising the story: perhaps if the spoof had been a little more realistic and featured a "Palace Handbag Panic" graphic it might have been a little bit more fun

At least Not The Nine O'Clock News had the good grace to admit that it wasn't.

  • 14.
  • At 04:16 PM on 26 Jun 2006,
  • William wrote:

Yet another blog. The usual response was forthcoming in the first few comments; outright sycophancy towards the creator.

As the content was not immediately clear I can only imagine the thoughts going through the minds of people with relatives at Buckingham Palace. It was, at best, a stupid and tasteless piece of alleged entertainment.

  • 15.
  • At 04:22 PM on 26 Jun 2006,
  • John Russell wrote:

Matthew Adams has hit it on the head exactly. That Huw and the news team played a part in this children's drama was lovely. That they did so by playing on our expectations of a genuine news bulletin - and in a time when breaking news of an "incident" usually means something far worse than a bit of panto mischief - was cruel.

  • 16.
  • At 04:31 PM on 26 Jun 2006,
  • Joanna Heath wrote:

I have no problem with blogs. I have no problem with the BBC.

But this is not a blog.

This is merely a glammed up contents page designed to increase hits and views of the entire BBC. Which is of course an understandable intention but I dislike being shown something which is clearly not what it claims to be. A blog? Let's have some honesty here please...!!!

  • 17.
  • At 06:20 PM on 26 Jun 2006,
  • James wrote:

Could you all kindly put your underpants on and smell the sunshine?

The opening of a serious incident did get me hooked - but then I let out a sigh of relief and realised how clever it was and how it would be woven into the story. If it had been something like the London Bombs surely the news would have broken BEFORE the programme started with an official announcement from BBC Pres?

I think people are taking the report wholly out of context, and it is shocking that the BBC has to defend itself against these prude morons who can't see the funny side of anything. By God, the terrorist attackers really achieved what they wanted on 7/7 - "We are not afraid"? Pah! Not from what I've read.

  • 18.
  • At 06:33 PM on 26 Jun 2006,
  • Bob wrote:

What really bothers me is how uptight everyone in this country has become. Why is it that everyone feels the need to instantaneously express their objections and why does the media sponsor their behaviour by pandering to them with simpering apologies?

It was a joke, plain and simple. Whether or not you found it funny is purely circumstantial.

Honestly, people, it seems to me like you might be overreacting a little bit. I live in the US, so I haven't seen this faux newscast, but from the way the different sites describe it, it was a matter of seconds, at most a minute, from "serious incident" to "where's the Queen's purse?"

Now, maybe my sense of humor is just warped, but personally I think I would get a kick out of a well organized, orchestrated gag, particularly if it worked well. If this was an academic conversation on the ability of the BBC news crew as comedians, that would be one thing, since I'm sure most of them didn't get in to journalism because of their winning wit, but this sort of condemnation of a simple joke seems extreme.

I'm sure some of you are familiar with the 1938 radio broadcast of Welles' War of the Worlds, and to listen to you, you'd think that the BBC had performed a similar stunt. Reacting with such vehemence to a harmless joke, in my opinion, is not unlike the reaction of a Chilean Governor in 1949, who actually mobilized troops to defend his country from the aliens.

  • 20.
  • At 07:57 PM on 26 Jun 2006,
  • Helen wrote:

I missed the show, but would like to see this spoof news story for myself. Why is there no link here?

Joanna Heath has a point, traditional media should give up, they rarely ever manage to make real blogs, they just make another outlet for trad content. Blogging should be a dialogue, blogging should be dynamic, trad media blogs never seem to achieve this.

frankly, what bothers me the most is the way i got into reading the first bbc blog. i just want to point out that it's awfully unfair to your fellow man to trick them. "down with blogs" is really about up with blogs and here's our blog.
then finally i read that the queen's purse has gone missing, and am interested again... unthinkable! who would dare... and i wondered what might be in it.
then i find that i am chasing my tail because the first blog which i should have thought would have a little more auspicious weight to bring me back again on the basis of the lofty purpose of the bbc.

i am looking for what i might coin as "value content"... not a series of ephemeral jokeyness. i am sure that the editor was just wiseacring to get the flow of his voice going and to prove his 'transparency', but i expect when i read the next entry that i will encounter something useful.

James #17 says "If it had been something like the London Bombs surely the news would have broken BEFORE the programme started with an official announcement from BBC Pres?"

Perhaps you're too young to remember Heysel - althought BBC radio was already covering the disaster, BBC1 had a couple of minutes of knockabout from Terry Wogan and Bruce Forsyth before cutting to a grim-faced Jimmy Hill who broke the news.

Andrew #19, perhaps you should remember that the War of the World spoof came very shortly after radio listeners had heard the reports coming from Europe about the Anschluss. Likewise, having a sudden newsflash while the North Koreans are constructing a missile capable of hitting Alaska and the Japanese and Americans issuing stongly-worded warnings... well, it just isn't the time.

I thought is was funny, but then again I got the joke! Some people just need to grow a sense of humour.

  • 25.
  • At 09:58 PM on 26 Jun 2006,
  • Matthew wrote:

What has happened to this country's sense of humour? Well done to the BBC for trying to bring a bit of fun back into people's lives. Everyone is so wound up and stressed out with everything in life that an injection of light heartedness deserves commendation. Having kids I'd hope the parents of those at the palace could see the funny side of a joke.

  • 26.
  • At 10:05 PM on 26 Jun 2006,
  • nerdboy wrote:

I didn't see the incident in question, but from the reports I've heard it does sound rather ill-judged but I'll reserve comment until I do see it. I'm just wondering what would have been done if something serious did happen later on during the broadcast? Could hardly jump back to the newsroom again could you?

  • 27.
  • At 10:16 PM on 26 Jun 2006,
  • john weaver wrote:

tis bad enough that the news-media runs commercials about what they are going to have the drama queens tell the masse's but when they start hyping their stories and then say it is a joke the whole thing borders on rediculous and may be the reason that I really don't pay very much attebtion to the news anymore.

I agree with Bob (comment #18) this negative response to the spoof newscast is testament to the obtuse level of paranoia that has riddled the minds of this post 7/7 nation.

  • 29.
  • At 10:43 PM on 26 Jun 2006,
  • James wrote:

I think as a country, we've been through far more harrowing experiences than a clearly fictitious news report.

It's almost as if people now feel they have to be aggrieved at the slightest deviation from routine.

The set-up did not allude to or directly infer any horrific type of 'incident' at the Palace. It did however fit in with the theme of the programme and worked very effectively as a clever device.

What seems to be a far worse problem arising from this broadcast is the backlash it has received in the form of (to quote someone else) 'mawkish sentimentality', where the July 7th bombing are concerned. Are we to use the incident as a moral yardstick for everything now?

To those people who felt compelled to find a way to reference the July bombings in their rantings, however tenuous, I can only say this- get a grip of yourselves. The victims of that day clearly deserve a bit more dignity and respect than you afford them and for the rest of us, life does indeed go on. That includes doing the same things that we were doing on the 6th of July.

  • 30.
  • At 12:13 AM on 27 Jun 2006,
  • Mike wrote:

Well, I was in the pub having watched the England game and once it was over, a DJ had rather taken over any sound we could hear, though BBC pictures remained. So I didn't hear what Huw Edwards was saying, and until I saw Corbett I was kind of worried.

Newsflashes tend to be kind of rare in my experience on the BBC (and when they happen, you KNOW something big has happened) so I felt it was a bit silly to use them here.

  • 31.
  • At 12:19 AM on 27 Jun 2006,
  • Ian Peters wrote:

Gee...if you have to choose between The Sun or the BBC for reliable information...which one would it be? The Sun has page 3 and that's it

As a fan of Chris Morris, I was pleased to see his satirical sense of humour has been recognised by the makers of that programme, although I'm not sure it was sensible to attach the joke to such an occasion. I'm sure many viewers were horrified by the joke, which was clearly in bad taste.
Personally, I switched off the TV in disgust as soon as Ronnie Corbett appeared.

  • 33.
  • At 02:30 AM on 27 Jun 2006,
  • Chris Kent wrote:

It could have been changed with one word....they could have used "strange" instead of "serious"

  • 34.
  • At 03:46 AM on 27 Jun 2006,
  • Douglas McLellan wrote:

To all those who complained - GET A SENSE OF HUMOUR!! Perhaps Huw could do a news story entitled 'Nation looses humour' or perhaps 'Germans now funnier than English'.
To me and my family it was clear that given Johnathan Ross introduced the news that it was a comedy situation. The day Mr Ross is really given responsibility for handing over to the news due to something bad happening is the day that we are all in really deep trouble. The people who complained should all join MediaWatach and campaign to make television safer by broadcasting only 'Listen with Mother' or some such thing. Get a life people.

  • 35.
  • At 03:49 AM on 27 Jun 2006,
  • Geoff Lamb wrote:

From this distance (N.Z.) the Queen's kids'party seems such a great and memorable idea. I am sorry that so many people have been sensitised by recent events to the extent of the terror expressed over the faux news. But it should not be allowed to mar the whole event, it is after all an occasion that, from many stories written, will be remembered joyfully for all of the lives of hundreds of children, an event to be retold to grandchildren in years to come.
I would prefer the emphasis to be on the lunch boxes and their wonderfully chosen contents - finger sandwiches, salad and fruit. What a grand example for all those kids.

  • 36.
  • At 09:12 AM on 27 Jun 2006,
  • James wrote:

... and there was me thinking that the British were renowned for a sense of humour. Perhaps in the future subtitles of "We're only joking" should be displayed.

Admittedly I understand the anxiety that some may have experienced, but since that should have been put to rest after a matter of seconds it just seems the whole thing has been blown completely out of proportion.

On the subject of blogs though, isn't this one more a case of self-glorification for the BBC News department?

  • 37.
  • At 09:38 AM on 27 Jun 2006,
  • Carly wrote:

In my opinion, i feel that the spoof story may have been taken far more seriously than it was meant to be. It may just be my extremely strange sense of humour, but i do find this rather funny. I am slightly disappointed that other viewers did not appreciate the joke and receive it in the way that it was intended. I did not see the story on television, but after reading this about the happenings, I have come to the conclusion that the spoof story has proved that a large number of the British population take what they see on television and news far too seriously, and refuse to see the news and some stories that are portrayed in a lighthearted way, as intended, during a childrens party that is intentionally fun.

  • 38.
  • At 09:39 AM on 27 Jun 2006,
  • Kim Stirk wrote:

Well it is rather amazing that people nowadays cannot take a joke. I do find it quite amusing that a fictitious story can cause quite an uprage. Imagine if people took everything so seriously, wouldn't we feel extremely sorry for the cast of Eastenders.

  • 39.
  • At 09:41 AM on 27 Jun 2006,
  • Sherrie MacIsaac wrote:

I for one am glad to see the BBC has a sense of humour. In this scary world we live in we could all do to lighten up a little. Thanks for that and thanks for this new blog.

  • 40.
  • At 09:41 AM on 27 Jun 2006,
  • Harpreet wrote:

The audience should be able to tell the difference, how can people get scared by fake news?

Go forth and blog...

...I love hearing what people think about the world and I am always interested in what the BBC will do with their website next. You have an excellent site and almost always produce fantastic news coverage and comments on events. Don't let these anti-blog people get you down. Blogging and the internet is the future!

  • 42.
  • At 10:27 AM on 27 Jun 2006,
  • ed wrote:

perhaps the bbc should have used a more over the top presenter for the news flash rather than a recognisable news figure to announce the news. Also, using the BBC news 24 format was a mistake, though I understand why it was used. I think Jonathon Ross would have been great in the role.

  • 43.
  • At 10:44 AM on 27 Jun 2006,
  • D Magee wrote:

I only saw the last half hour of the programme and all I can say is - it was great. I was sat with my grandchildren ages 5, 8 and 13 and they all loved it. Nice one your Majesty.
One thing I did notice (speaking as someone who was unsuccessful in obtaining an invitation) was all the empty seats. Where were all those people, did they just fail to turn up or was something happening elsewhere?

  • 44.
  • At 11:26 AM on 27 Jun 2006,
  • marc wrote:

the point is, if there was a bomb attack or major news story, - would we think twice whether to belive the BBC at first? Personally I always switch between sky and bbc news when big events happen.

  • 45.
  • At 04:49 PM on 27 Jun 2006,
  • Nicolas Barlow wrote:

Can people remember Angela Rippon sitting behind a newsdesk then launching into a dance routine - surely that was one of the earliest spoof "bulletins" - were there any complaints - NO! How sensitive are people getting? Surely people can really see the difference - Sophie Raworth was not suitably dressed for a serious news incident and would probably have not been the news reporter at the Palace - Nicholas Witchell more likely. People should get a life and stop complaining unnecessarily about BBC News. Remember Peter Sissons and the wrong coloured tie - how pathetic that people complained about that. The newsroom sprung into action very quickly and he did wear a dark tie - what did they want - black bow tie and suit! If it was ITN presenting spoof bulletins no one would have probably complained as they present the news bulletins as one big joke. Let us see the news report again and judge for ourselves.

  • 46.
  • At 05:48 PM on 27 Jun 2006,
  • Joseph Enterton wrote:

I'm not convinced by the response from Peter Horrocks here. His words are very carefully chosen - apologising for "anyone who was misled". Elsewhere, an unnamed BBC Spokesperson quoted on the News website said the BBC was "sorry if some people hadn't got the joke". Peter Horrocks is more clever with his language, but the two responses are saying the same thing: the BBC isn't to blame, it's the audience's fault for being offended. Once, just once, won't someone at the BBC say, "We got it wrong and we won't do it again"? I doubt it.

And on the subject of these blogs in general, let's not be fooled in to thinking we'll ever read anything earth-shattering here. For what's REALLY going on, I'll still read websites like MediaGuardian and DigitalSpy first, and then eventually get the BBC's sanitised version. What's written here (both by the editors and the bloggers) will be very carefully censored in the BBC's usual manner of control-freakery. For instance, I don't for one minute expect this contribution to be published!

As you're the head of BBC Tv news and my two comments to Helen's welcome post have yet to be approved I'll try my luck here:

Any chance of dropping the weak amateur hour routines and persistent in-jokes which have recently started to spoil News24 during the earlier part of the day?

Sadly it's got to a point where I tune in less and less before midday to avoid what often looks like an audition for a revival of KYTV.

  • 48.
  • At 09:39 PM on 27 Jun 2006,
  • John Thompson wrote:

Oh dear I really do fear for our nation when I hear stories like this. How stupid and reactionary are these complaining viewers?. I thought it was a priceless bit of TV. I hope the BBC come up with more of the same to annoy these simpletons.

  • 49.
  • At 09:50 PM on 27 Jun 2006,
  • Simon Cope wrote:

"For instance, I don't for one minute expect this contribution to be published!"

Well Joseph, so much for that Idea.
I agree with the sensible aproach of those above, in calling for a greater sense of humour.

Seriously now, a second of over-reacting worry is hardly cause for complaint.
Clearly, some people just like to pick faults.

  • 50.
  • At 12:09 AM on 28 Jun 2006,
  • john wrote:

First i was at the party with children aged 10 and 14. Yes the newsflash did make us stop and think - but about the play and nothing else. The children thought it was good way of introducing the thriller of the queen's handbag story (and lets not forget that the day was for children not adults!). My 10 year old had no problem understanding it and no worries about it - they watched it in the spirit of the play and throughly enjoyed it as did those sitting around us.

I empathise with people who have experienced trauma but we are starting to get into such a sterilised society just in case something upsets one person somewhere, somewhen. Those damn warnings at the end of every programme (if you are upset by watching this then call the action line....) are an example of this. Perhaps the beeb could have put a warning at the start of the play but that takes the mystery away.

Oh and yes the Queen did look miserable - many of the children were saying that but it was still a brilliant day

I'm not really into being patriotic or flag waving but having read the responses to this it has become clear that my country needs me!

  • 52.
  • At 04:42 PM on 29 Jun 2006,
  • Joseph Enterton wrote:

Just to make clear: I was not complaining about the spoof news broadcast (Post 46). I was making a point about the way in which the BBC responds to such complaints. It does not apologise, does not promise to mend its ways; it merely uses clever language to get itself off the hook, while all the while maintaining a superior "We were right" attitude.

And my tease about whether the contribution would be published clearly did its job!!

  • 53.
  • At 08:30 PM on 29 Jun 2006,
  • Steve H wrote:

I didn't see it but the concept sounds quite amusing to me. But not half as funny as these whinging responses by those who found themselves offended.

No doubt this will appear on Ofcom's monthly bulletin pretty soon alongside all the other silly complaints.

  • 54.
  • At 11:58 AM on 30 Jun 2006,
  • Rich wrote:

In the past, fake BBC Newsflashes have been with real presenters in real studios, but the image style has always been different (perhaps a lower picture quality, different camera angle, or something similar), which has always made it clear to me that it was indeed fake. This time round, it seemed identical to the 'real thing' and I only realised it was a fake was when I saw Meera Syal and Ronnie Corbett. Next time round the Beeb should make a bit more effort to ensure that fake newsflashes are authentic in style but obviously fake from the outset, otherwise people will be confused.

What a soft, protective and insular world some people live in when a news item scares them in such a way. You have towonder how these people survive the day to day rigours of life when such a small thing scares them to death.

  • 56.
  • At 08:03 AM on 01 Jul 2006,
  • Reader wrote:

If people are getting upset about this, then they obviously have far too much time on their hands.

Rather than worrying about the quality of it's programs, maybe the BBC should start worrying about the quality of its viewers.

This feature was as high as ever, but the standards of those watching it would appear to have hit a low point.

  • 57.
  • At 08:20 AM on 01 Jul 2006,
  • Jamie wrote:

At what point was the newsflash realistic? Jonothan Ross's voice over live images from the palace was the first giveaway, then the BBC news intro played? on an important newsflash!? This intro was also quite clearly fake as it wasnt the usual look used by the BBC. If by this point your IQ isn't high enough to smell a rat then surely not ony was Sophie Raworth's atire completely wrong but the frame rate used on her broadcast was totally wrong for BBC news report.

Thankyou BBC for trusting those of us that have a high enough IQ and a good sense of humour to take this exactly the way it was meant to be taken.

  • 58.
  • At 09:45 AM on 01 Jul 2006,
  • Dave powell wrote:

Yes well usualy I love the spoofs and the jokes the BBC do. It has fun with our usual expectations, I did think it was funny after the initial dread,(oops I must have a low IQ) I had a mixture of relief wow that was good but, there was dread,(possibly because of the general heightened risks around terrorism). My thoughts went out to people parents who had loved ones at the palace and I imaganed the fear worry and dread they may well have received.
I guess there is always a risk at upsetting someone usually a minority
yet it could be a large minority,especially people who may be vulnerable,
I therefore hope you guys do listen to the complaints and weigh up from this experience as to future spoofs.
I dont envy you thatjob good luck and keep up your usual high standards

  • 59.
  • At 01:00 PM on 01 Jul 2006,
  • Andrew bruce wrote:

Now, I have no interest in the royal family, Queen or indeed her birthday bash. (how often do you help pay for a party but not get invited?) Bearing in mind my compleate lack of interest in the matter, I knew there would be an incident at the palace days befor it happened. It was on every news report. It is a lot of fuss about nothing and some people are only happy when they want to complain.


  • 60.
  • At 12:38 PM on 18 Jul 2006,
  • Anna wrote:

Well, whatever you say about the "report" it's certainly raised the profile of the party and got everybody talking. Nothing like a bit of controversy to get things into the public eye. This is all ridiculous; people are getting worried about nothing. I can see how you may have been distressed for a moment especially after the London bombings, that is unfortunate, but there are plenty of things to distress us all in lives, plenty of bad things happen and you can't please all of the people all of the time. If everything that may upset a few people was cut out no one would ever put anything on TV. Someone may lose a relative today and a program on tonight may depict a death scene that distresses them. It's a sad thing and probably happens everyday but it doesn't mean everything changes in case this situation MAY arise. Some people believe that The Archers or Eastenders are real, should we change the storylines so they don't get upset? Where does it stop? If we make every experience in life fluffy and nice then how can we cope when something bad happens? It was a joke, it was short and not intended to be malicious... get over it and worry about the people dying in Lebanon or kids starving in Africa. If people put their as much of their efforts into worrying about these issues the world would be a much nicer place. As to the BBC apologising I'm sure they're sorry for causing distress but why would they say they were wrong for the sake of the minority? I'm sure they put a lot of thought into it before they did it and they're not going to suddenly decide it was terrible because a few people throw teddy out of the pram.

it was a bad move to use a "trusted" anchor like Huw Edwards PLUS the news 24 format.

That , in my view, is a brand of "trust" - much like your GP is trusted. To abuse that trust is a sign of utter crassness on the part of the BBC.

my GP wouldnt dream of "joking" about me getting cancer, would he?

On the plus side, it just goes to show how trusted Huw Edwards is - the BBC should protect that "brand" and not abuse it needlessly.

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