RDF chief apologises to BBC over Queen tape

LONDON - RDF Media chief executive David Frank has condemned his own employees for manipulating footage of the Queen in an apology to the BBC director-general Mark Thompson.

The television production company and the BBC have been left deeply embarrassed after the BBC One controller Peter Fincham last week unveiled a preview tape of the forthcoming RDF series 'A Year With The Queen', which showed the Queen walking out on a photography shoot "in a huff".

The BBC was forced to apologise to the Queen over the footage after it emerged that RDF had re-ordered the sequence of events during the Queen's photo session with photographer Annie Leibovitz to make it look as if the Queen had walked out.

The RDF chief has now sent a report of how the tape came to be assembled with a fulsome apology to Thompson, who is to face the BBC Trust over the matter tomorrow. Speculation is rife that Fincham could lose his job although he has said he will not resign.

Frank's email reads: "Clearly RDF has been guilty of a serious error of judgement and I deeply regret the embarrassment this has led to for both the BBC and the Queen and wanted to apologise to you unreservedly."

The BBC, which is running its own investigation into how its employees came to use the tape without checking its veracity, took the decision to publish the email on its press office website yesterday evening.

RDF has not published the email on its own site, and it is not clear whether it advised the BBC to publish it.

The BBC has also published Thompson's email reply to Frank, which reads: "I appreciate your acknowledgement of RDF's role in this very regrettable episode and your unreserved apology.

"I will be in touch again when our own enquiries are further advanced. But your cooperation, both in uncovering the facts and learning the lessons, is very welcome."

Frank's email also states that he is taking steps to put in place measures to "ensure nothing of this sort happens again".

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