BBC uses staff as contestants to get around competition ban

LONDON - BBC Radio 2 has got around the corporation-wide ban on phone-in competitions -- by replacing members of the public with BBC employees.

The station's mid-morning presenter, Ken Bruce, announced on today's show that he was bringing back his daily quiz, Popmaster, after complaints from listeners when it was pulled yesterday.

But instead of inviting listeners to call in, the quiz went ahead with two of Bruce's colleagues, traffic presenter Lynn Bowles and lunchtime talk show host Jeremy Vine, and no prize on offer.

BBC director-general Mark Thompson announced on Wednesday that he was suspending all competitions after a series of incidents of deception were unveiled, including phone-ins linked to charity fundraisers Comic Relief and Sport Relief.

BBC Radio 1, meanwhile, has been forced to suspend its Six Weeks of Summer competition in mid-run. It was due to give away a weekend trip to a different holiday resort every week for six weeks, but only one winner had been drawn before the ban was enforced.

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