Entertainment & Arts

Radio 4 Met Office show 'fell short' of impartiality guidelines

Quentin Letts Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Radio 4's What's The Point Of... is hosted by the critic and commentator Quentin Letts

A BBC Radio 4 programme about the Met Office has been found in breach of the corporation's impartiality guidelines.

The BBC Trust's Editorial Standards Committee said the 5 August edition of What's The Point Of... had criticised the Met Office for promoting a "climate change theory" said to be "alarmist".

The programme, it went on, did not make clear the Met Office's work was in line with "prevailing scientific thought".

The committee's chairman said it had fallen "well short" of standards.

In its report, the committee said What's The Point Of..., presented by Daily Mail sketch writer Quentin Letts, had a "humorous and mildly provocative" tone.

The 5 August programme, it went on, "included contributors who spoke from a particular perspective" that was not made clear to audiences.

According to the committee, editorial oversight had been "limited" and the "contentious nature of some content was not recognised" before transmission.

It also said that while a Met Office representative was interviewed, "her contribution... did not adequately address the criticisms" the show made against it.

"It is clear that this programme fell well short of the standards of impartiality audiences have a right to expect," said the Editorial Standards Committee's Richard Ayre.

"The BBC recognises this and the Trust will receive updates on the steps the BBC Executive has said it is taking."

The programme will not be re-broadcast and is "no longer available" on the BBC iPlayer "following the outcome of a finding by the BBC Trust".

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