IN THE NAME OF ALL THAT IS SACRED!
Blue Peter, flag ship BBC children’s programme, has admitted to rigging a telephone competition. Have a read of this via Reuters…
Link: BBC admits “Blue Peter” phone-in quiz was faked | Breaking City News | Reuters.co.uk
Bosses of the BBC’s long-running children’s show “Blue Peter” said on Wednesday it had faked a phone-in competition, becoming the latest programme to become embroiled in a scandal over premium rate number quizzes.
Blue Peter viewers had been asked to phone the show on a premium rate number last November for a chance to win a toy, with proceeds going towards a Unicef appeal.
Each call cost 10 pence with 3.25 pence going to charity and the BBC [BBC.UL] making no profit.
But telephone operators had technical problems which meant they could not get information to studio staff. As a result, a member of staff asked a child who was visiting the studio to phone the programme and give the answer on air.
The child then won the competition..
Now what MUPPET was running that phone service? What kind of technical problem forced the stressed-to-hell producer to have to get a token kid, (“Hey, you’re a kid right? Good. Phone this number, ok… act surprised right…”), and get the token kid to phone up just so he/she could win the competition?
Someone from the phone company couldn’t have popped out to a phone box and called the BBC studio with the details? They couldn’t have used their blackberry to whack the details to the chaps in the gallery? This is, after all, live television. You build redundancy into the system, sometimes twice if you have to.
I can see the position of the producer though. If you’ve gone to air and told everyone your’e doing a competition… and if thousands have been phoning up throughout the show… and then, when it comes to the crux, your telephone supplier screws up… well, you can’t cut to a blank screen. You can’t leave your talent in the studio staring blankly at their autocues. I can understand a series of circumstances where you’d have to do this, at least to preserve the expectation — rather than cut into the show and say ‘errrr sorry, technical problems…’ But the first thing you’d do after coming off air is go straight to your telecoms supplier and nut them.