BBC uncovers six more instances of fake prize winners

LONDON - After its fine for faking a phone-in on Blue Peter, the BBC has admitted to six other instances when production staff have passed themselves off as viewers, or where fictitious winners were invented, all uncovered since the director-general's report was published in May.

These were:

Comic Relief, transmitted on Friday 16 March 2007 on BBC One
In a section of the appeal programme, viewers were invited to donate money to Comic Relief and were informed that by calling in they could win prizes which belonged to a famous couple. The first two callers taken on air gave incorrect answers. The other waiting callers were lost and a third caller was heard on air successfully answering the question. This caller was in fact not a viewer but a member of the production team.

TMi, transmitted on 16 September 2006 on BBC Two and CBBC
Following a production problem with a live competition, viewers were led to believe that a member of the audience was involved and won a competition open to the public. In fact, the caller was a member of the production team. The programme team failed to seek proper advice before running the competition.

Sport Relief, transmitted on 15 July 2006 on BBC One
Viewers were led to believe that a member of the public was involved in and won a competition open to the public, whereas the caller was in fact a member of the production team. The BBC has found evidence that this action was planned as a contingency in advance and that the physical infrastructure of the competition meant that it would have been impossible for it to be run as was described on air, and warnings about potential difficulties in conducting the competition were ignored. This incident was not referred up nor was it declared to a BBC audit in March.

Children in Need, transmitted on 18 November 2005 on BBC One Scotland
In a segment called 'Raven: The Island' in the BBC's Children in Need appeal's Scotland broadcast in 2005, viewers were led to believe that a phone-in competition, open to the audience, had been won by a viewer, when in fact, due to a technical mistake, calls from the public did not get through and the name of a fictitious winner was read out on air.

The Liz Kershaw Show, transmitted in 2005/6 on BBC 6 Music
In pre-recorded programmes, presented as if they were live, a competition was announced which appeared to feature genuine listeners phoning in to take part, one of whom would win a prize on air. In fact, in recorded programmes, there were no competitions or prizes and all of the callers were actually members of production team and their friends. A new producer took over the programme in December 2006 and stopped the practices as a matter of priority.

White Label, transmitted on World Service until April 2006
A weekly pop music preview programme on the English Service. On more than one occasion a fake winner was announced for the CD prize when no winning entries had actually been received.

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