Corrections and Clarifications - Archive 2012

The BBC's responses to editorial, technical and corporate issues.

This page includes apologies, significant corrections, statements and responses, and findings from the BBC Trust. It does not include routine corrections to news stories, minor on-air apologies and schedule changes.

Corrections and clarifications are published in the order that they were issued.


BBC Two, Friday 14 December 2012

BBC Trust has published a finding by its Editorial Standards Committee on the edition of Newsnight broadcast on 2 November 2012.


Sports Personality of the Year

BBC Sport, 16 December 2012

We received complaints from viewers who reported difficulties registering their telephone vote.


Newsnight (BBC Two), News at 6 & News at Ten (BBC One), PM (Radio 4); Newsnight (BBC Two); "Leaked document suggests ‘systematic fraud’ at A4e",

22 and 23 March 2020

Newsnight investigated claims that A4e (a company contracted by the DWP to place people in employment) had failed to provide the DWP with material relating to an internal report which had identified numerous instances of potentially fraudulent or irregular conduct by employees of the company. An item was broadcast in the 22 March 2012 edition of Newsnight, and the story was also covered that day on, in PM and in both evening news bulletins on BBC1.

The 23 March edition of Newsnight included a short follow-up item. A4e complained that it had not been given sufficient time to respond or adequate information about the allegations to be aired, and argued that the coverage had been unfair and misleading in various respects. Some aspects of the complaint were upheld in relation to PM, and the 23 March edition of Newsnight.


6.00pm News

Radio 4, 15 May 2012

An item on Palestinian demonstrations marking Nakba Day referred to “thousands of Palestinians leaving their homes” following the declaration of the State of Israel. Two listeners complained that this gave a misleading impression of the scale of Palestinian displacement and the extent to which it was the result of coercion. The complaint was partly upheld.


BBC Sport Olympic country profile pages

When first posted, the Palestine page identified East Jerusalem as the capital of Palestine, while the Israel page did not identify the capital at all. Before the matter came to the ECU’s attention, the pages had been changed to make clear that Ramallah was the Palestinian seat of government, and that, while Jerusalem was the Israeli seat of government, most embassies were in Tel Aviv. The ECU decided that these changes were enough to resolve the matter.


Points West

BBC One (West), 13 February 2012

In a report of an incident in which a train driver had been forced to stop the train by youths shining a laser pen in his eyes, the reporter referred to “potentially catastrophic” consequences. A viewer complained that this was misleading and alarmist. The complaint was upheld.


BBC News, Coverage of the Duchess of Cambridge’s pregnancy

We received complaints from viewers and listeners who felt there was too much coverage of the Duchess of Cambridge’s pregnancy.


The One Show

19 July 2012

Two viewers complained about Daley Thompson’s suggestion that a tattoo in which the word “Olympic” was misspelled must have been the work of “an Irish Tattooist”. The complaint was resolved.


Editorial Standards Committee

19 September 2012

Summary of findings: Bang Goes the Theory, BBC One (broadcast 3 October 2011)



BBC Two, date withheld

An item in the programme included illustrative footage originally used in report on a similar topic in 2005. The complainant, who had been a minor at the time, featured identifiably in circumstances s/he had found traumatic. S/he complained that proper consent to film and use the material had not been obtained in the first place, and that its re-use was upsetting and infringed his/her privacy. The complaint was upheld with regard to reuse of the material.


The Kitchen Café

Radio Scotland, 16 May 2012

A listener complained that an item on salmon-farming in Scotland was inaccurate, and provided an uncritical platform for the views of the Scottish Salmon Producers’ Organisation. The complaint was upheld.


The Food Inspectors

BBC One, 25 March 2012

A viewer complained that the programme gave the misleading impression that all cattle infected with TB should be excluded from the human food chain as potentially injurious to health. The complaint was upheld.


Editorial Standards Committee

March 2012 and September 2012

Panorama: A Walk in the Park, BBC One (broadcast 18 January 2010)


Editorial Standards Committee appeal findings

October 2012

Summary of findings: BBC News at Ten, BBC One (broadcast 6 February 2012); BBC News at Ten, BBC One (broadcast 6 February 2012); Room 101 – Extra Storage, BBC One (broadcast 11 March 2012); Tweet from a BBC news presenter; News Bulletins, BBC Radio 4 (broadcast 29 May 2012); Formula 1 – The Monaco Grand Prix, BBC One (broadcast 27 May 2012) and Formula 1 website; Football Focus


Apology in response to Steve Messham's statement

On 2 November, Newsnight broadcast a report that looked into criticism of the North Wales Abuse Tribunal. The report included an interview with Steve Messham, an abuse victim who said that a senior political figure of the time had abused him. We broadcast Mr Messham's claim but did not identify the individual concerned. Mr Messham has tonight made a statement that makes clear he wrongly identified his abuser and has apologised. We also apologise unreservedly for having broadcast this report.


Strictly Come Dancing: the Results

BBC One, 4 November 2012

We received complaints from some viewers who felt the audience were too loud during Andrea Bocelli's performance on Strictly Come Dancing: the Results, broadcast on 4th November.


Danny Baker

BBC London 94.9

We received complaints from listeners unhappy that Danny Baker will be leaving his afternoon show on BBC London 94.9.


Complaints and Appeals Board

September 2012


Editorial Standards Committee appeal findings

September 2012

Summary of findings: The World Today, BBC World Service (broadcast 11 December 2011); Excess Baggage, BBC Radio 4 (broadcast 18 February 2012); Free Speech, BBC Three (broadcast 7 March 2012);“So You Think You Can Dance”, BBC Online; The Big Questions, BBC One (broadcast 4 March 2012); “David Cameron attack on Welsh NHS”, BBC Online and Twitter; “London’s public land sell off sparks concern”, BBC London News and BBC Online (7 March 2012)


Mike Harding

Radio 2

We received complaints from people who are disappointed that Mike Harding is leaving the BBC Radio 2 folk music show


A statement on Newsnight and Jimmy Savile

A statement on a correction to a blog post by Peter Rippon on Newsnight and Jimmy Savile




We received complaints from some viewers about some aspects of a social worker's role in the current storyline.


Blog post about Newsnight and Jimmy Savile

Blog post by Peter Rippon, editor Newsnight, on why he took the decision not to run a story into allegations of sex abuse by the former BBC presenter Jimmy Savile


Editorial Standards Committee appeal findings

July and September 2012

Summary of findings: Panorama: What’s Fuelling Your Energy Bill? BBC One (broadcast 7 November 2011) and Top Gear, BBC One (broadcast 5 February 2012)


Good Cop scheduling

BBC One, 20 September 2012 (scheduled)

We received complaints from some viewers who were unhappy that the final episode of Good Cop wasn't broadcast on Thursday 20 September.



BBC Radio 4, 28 August 2012

We received complaints from some listeners who felt Martha Kearney incorrectly implied Israeli soldiers were killed on the same day as Palestinian activist Rachel Corrie.


Great British Bake Off (Product Placement)


The Radio Times received a letter from a viewer who questioned whether the BBC was allowing ‘product promotion’ on Great British Bake Off owing to the amount of times they had viewed SMEG products during the show. In response to the letter the BBC made clear that as per the Ofcom code and BBC Editorial Guidelines there is absolutely no product placement in the series.

However the BBC also confirmed that it had discovered some issues with the details of the SMEG loan agreement that had been set up by the production company Love and that these are being resolved.



BBC Two, 23 May 2012

Shanene Thorpe was interviewed for a programme item. She complained that the item had given an unfair, inaccurate and misleading impression of her and asked for a broadcast correction and apology. The complaint was upheld.


Editorial Standards Committee appeal findings

July 2012

Summary of findings: Timewatch: The Most Courageous Raid of WW2, BBC Two (broadcast 1 Nov 2011); Payments to MP for appearance on This Week; "Police asked to probe Commonwealth Games land deals", BBC News Online; That's Britain, BBC One (broadcast 30 November 2011) and Today, BBC Radio 4 (broadcast 1 October 2011)


Citizen Khan

BBC One, 27 August 2012

We received complaints from some viewers who were unhappy about Citizen Khan's portrayal of the Muslim community.


Blog post about the BBC's use of RIPA

A blog post by Sian Healey, Head of Communications and Policy for TV Licensing, on how the BBC uses the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act (RIPA).


Olympics 2012, Interview with the Jamaican Men's 200m Final winners

9 August 2012

We received complaints from viewers who were unhappy that an interview with the Jamaican Men’s 200m winners was conducted during the Kenyan national anthem.


Olympics 2012, Mishal Husain's interview with David Cameron

12 August 2012

We received complaints from viewers who were unhappy with Mishal Husain's interview with Prime Minister David Cameron.


BBC News at Ten

2 August 2012

We received complaints from viewers unhappy that a correspondent spoke over the national anthem during a report on Team GB’s win in the men’s sprint cycling event.



BBC Two, 26 January 2012



BBC Two, 26 January 2012

A viewer complained that a report was unfair to CareConfidential, a company which provides independent advice on abortion, by giving the misleading impression it had an anti-abortion agenda. The complaint was upheld.


London 2012, Gary Lineker's comments during Olympics 2012

29 July 2012

We received complaints from viewers who were unhappy with Gary Lineker’s comments on the 29 July 2012.


BBC News Saturday late bulletin

28 July 2012

We received complaints from viewers who felt that David Bond's report on the men's 250km cycling road race was of poor quality and/ or biased against Team GB


Grand National

BBC One, 14 April 2012

A viewer complained that archive material in a tribute to the late Ginger McCain (the trainer of Red Rum) included an offensive and homophobic phrase. The selected clip used was deemed not to be an appropriate illustration in this context. The programme-makers have been reminded of their duty to exercise caution when considering the use of material that could cause offence to some viewers.


The Magicians

BBC One, 28 January 2012

A viewer complained that a trick involving tree frogs was adverse to the welfare of the frogs, and possibly dangerous to humans. The RSPCA and the Zoological society of London concurred that the trick involved handling them in an inappropriate and potentially harmful way, and that there was also a health risk to humans. The production team were reminded of the need to avoid putting animals in situations that were potentially harmful to them or to those handling them.


Editorial Standards Committee Appeal findings

June 2012

Summary of findings: 'The Rise and Lies of Tommy Sheridan' (broadcast 23 December 2010) and Reporting Scotland (broadcast 26 January 2011); BBC News at Six and BBC News at Ten (broadcast 9 December 2011); Newsnight, BBC Two (broadcast 13 September 2011)


London 2012, Commentary during the Opening Ceremony

We received complaints from viewers who were unhappy with the commentary during the London 2012 Opening Ceremony


BBC News broadcasts from the Olympic Park

23 and 24 July 2012

We received complaints from viewers about technical problems with news broadcasts from the Olympic Park news studio.


More on the BBC and service companies

Following recent press speculation, Chief Financial Officer Zarin Patel clarified the BBC's position in relation to the use of Personal Service Companies and tax affairs in general in an all staff email sent on July 23rd



BBC Radio 5 live, 22 July 2012

We received complaints from listeners who were unhappy with Garry Richardson’s interview with Jeremy Hunt during Sportsweek on Sunday 22 July 2012.


The One Show, comment made regarding a tattoo

BBC One, 19 July 2012

We received complaints from some viewers unhappy with a comment made by Daley Thompson during The One Show on Thursday 19 July 2012


Country profiles on the BBC Sport Olympics website

We received complaints about the BBC Sport website from people who felt that the country profiles on the Olympics page for the Israeli and Palestinian teams were inaccurate.


The Chris Moyles Show, Chris Moyles to leave as presenter of BBC Radio 1’s Breakfast Show

We received complaints from listeners who are disappointed that Chris Moyles is to leave as presenter of the BBC Radio 1 Breakfast Show.


BBC Two, disruption to schedule due to Wimbledon coverage

7 July 2012

We received complaints from some viewers who were unhappy with the disruption to the BBC Two schedule to accommodate coverage of Wimbledon on 7 July 2012.


Complaints and Appeals Board findings

May 2012

Summary of appeal findings: Complaint handling


Editorial Standards Committee Appeal findings

May 2012

Summary of findings: “Homophobic bullying 'prevalent' in NI schools – report”, BBC Online and Weekend Wogan, BBC Radio 2 (broadcast 22 January 2012)


BBC Wimbledon coverage

We've received complaints from some viewers unhappy with the disruption to the schedule and the amount of coverage devoted to Wimbledon 2012.


What the BBC spends on television content - a response to Ofcom report, published 28 June

John Tate, Group Director, Strategic Operations, writes a blog post in response to Ofcom's report: Public Service Broadcasting Annual Report 2012


EastEnders, Michael and Jean storyline


We received complaints from some viewers unhappy with certain aspects of the EastEnders storyline involving Michael Moon and Jean Slater.


User generated content and 'Arab Spring' coverage

Steve Herrmann, Editor BBC News website, writes about the use of user-generated content (UGC)


Reporting Scotland, BBC One Scotland; Newsnight Scotland

BBC Two Scotland, 1 July 2010

A complaint by South Lanarkshire Council about related items in four BBC Scotland programmes has been partly upheld


BBC's Diamond Jubilee coverage

We received complaints from some viewers about aspects of the BBC’s Diamond Jubilee coverage.


Thought For the Day

Radio 4, 18 January 2012

Three listeners complained that the speaker had advocated Scottish independence, contrary to the BBC’s requirement of due impartiality on such matters. Although the speaker had not intended to be understood in that sense, he expressed himself in terms which created the impression that he favoured one side of a controversial question. The complaint was upheld.


Mark Thompson's letter to The Sunday Times

Sunday 3 June 2012

BBC Director-General Mark Thompson has written a letter published in The Sunday Times that states the BBC's position on the Newscorp/BskyB takeover bid.



BBC Two, 23 May 2012

We have received complaints from viewers who felt the programme's interview surrounding welfare provision with Ms Shanene Thorpe, did not portray the full extent of Ms Thorpe's personal circumstances. We have also received a complaint from Ms Thorpe directly, to which the editor of Newsnight has responded to, in accordance with the BBC's complaints process.


Midlands Today

BBC One (West Midlands), 11 April 2012

In an item in the lunchtime edition arising from a poster campaign by an animal rights group which linked eating meat with early death, the reporter said “Nutritionists say that a vegan and vegetarian diet is a healthy choice but it does lack essential nutrients only found in meat”. The complaint by four viewers that this was untrue, in that there are in fact no essential nutrients which are found only in meat, was resolved.


Bang Goes the Theory

BBC One, 3 October 2011

In the wake of the release of radiation at Fukushima, the programme included an item which aimed to put the number of deaths caused by exposure to radiation from nuclear accidents into perspective. Two viewers complained that the item seriously understated the likely death toll (in relation to both Chernobyl and Fukushima) and, by ignoring scientific opinion which favoured higher estimates, failed to treat the controversial subject of nuclear power generation with due impartiality. The complaint was upheld in relation to the figure for Chernobyl, which should not have been presented as definitive, but not in relation of Fukushima or impartiality


Statement regarding Panorama: Euro 2012: Stadiums of Hate

28 May 2012

A statement regarding Panorama - Euro 2012: Stadiums of Hate has been issued by the BBC.


Editorial Standards Committee appeal findings

April 2012

Summary of Findings: 9am News, BBC Radio 4 (broadcast 21 May 2011); “Obama insists 1967 "basis‟ for Israel-Palestinian peace”, BBC News Online (posted 19 May 2011); News at Ten, BBC One (broadcast 12 August 2011); Stage 2 complaint handling and Application of expedited complaints procedure at Stage 3


Blog post about Houla massacre picture mistake

A blog post by Chris Hamilton, social media editor for BBC News, apologising for incorrect photograph used to illustrate Houla massacre


Statement regarding the TV adaptation of Room At The Top

The BBC can confirm it plans to broadcast Room At The Top on BBC Four in the near future. Scheduling details will be announced soon.


Privacy and cookies

Blog post by Ian Hunter, Managing Editor BBC Online, on changes on BBC Online to make it easier to manage the cookies we use.


Blue Peter

BBC's Head of Press clarified the scheduling of Blue Peter

On the day that the BBC Trust published its conclusions to the Delivering Quality First process, some media speculated that it signalled the cancellation of Blue Peter. BBC's Head of Press tweeted: 'For absolute clarity the BBC is not ditching Blue Peter. ‪#bluepeter'


BBC's response to complaint Silent Witness scheduling

Broadcast 6 and 7 May 2012

Complaints from viewers that the episodes broadcast on Sunday 6 and Monday 7 May were repeats rather than new episodes.


Editorial Standards Committee Findings

March 2012

Summary of findings: Torchwood – Miracle Day, BBC One (broadcast 25 August 2011); Strictly Come Dancing, BBC One (broadcast 29 October 2011); BBC News at One and BBC News at Six, BBC One (broadcast 30 June 2010)


Reconsideration of Party Election Broadcast allocation

Appeal by Siobhan Benita, Independent Candidate for Mayor of London, not upheld.


Party Election Broadcast allocation

Appeal by Siobhan Benita, Independent Candidate for Mayor of London, not upheld


London Mayoral TV Debate

Appeal by Siobhan Benita, Independent Candidate for Mayor of London, not upheld


So You Think You Can Dance

BBC One and related website, 11 June 2011

A viewer's complaint that the programme gave a misleading impression that the contestant who came third among the four finalists in the audience vote had in fact come fourth (which was stated in terms on the programme’s website) was resolved/ upheld.


Weekend Wogan

Radio 2, 22 January 2011

A listener's complaint that humorous references to the sinking of the Costa Concordia by Sir Terry Wogan were offensive and insensitive to those affected by the disaster, and called for a broadcast apology, was resolved.


Don’t Get Done, Get Dom

BBC One, 11 May 2011

A complaint by Somerset County Council's Head of Communications that the programme was both unfair and inaccurate was upheld


Do We Really Need the Moon?, BBC Two; Why the Moon is getting further away from Earth,

1 February 2011

A viewer's complaint that the programme was wrong to describe the Moon as “speeding up” in its orbit (a phrase replicated in the associated online item), and also that a graphic showing the moon orbiting the earth in the wrong direction had been misleading, was resolved/upheld


Chris Evans at Paul's Cathedral

Radio 2, 25 November 2011

A listener's complaint that Chris Evans expressed a one-sided attitude to the protestors outside St Paul’s Cathedral, was upheld


5 Live Breakfast

Radio 5 Live, 19 July 2011

A listener's complaint that, in the course of an interview with a Labour MP, Nicky Campbell incorrectly referred to Tom Baldwin (Ed Miliband’s Director of Communication) as “the journalist on The Times who, at the behest it is said of Number 10, outed the name of Dr David Kelly”, was upheld.


The One Show

BBC One, 24 October 2011

The complaint of three viewers, that the programme was inaccurate in saying that the legal minimum depth of tread for car tyres was 3mm, and the complaint by one of them that a demonstration of measuring tread using the rim of a 20p piece was misleading, was resolved/ partly upheld.