The BBC has carried out "detailed investigations" into allegations it was the victim of a hoax after it ran an interview with a city trader who said he dreamt of "another recession".
Alessio Rastani became an overnight internet sensation after appearing on the BBC News channel yesterday.
Presenter Martine Croxall told him "jaws have collectively dropped" after he said: "I go to bed, every night I dream of another recession."
Rumours appeared on the internet after the interview was shown, claiming Rastani had hoaxed the BBC and linking him to the Yes Men - a group of hoaxers who claim to impersonate "big-time criminals in order to publicly humiliate them".
A member of the group previously appeared on the BBC as a spokesman for Dow Chemical and was interviewed at length about the 1984 Bhopal gas tragedy.
A BBC spokesman said: "We've carried out detailed investigations and can't find any evidence to suggest that the interview with Alessio Rastani was a hoax. He is an independent market trader and one of a range of voices we've had on air to talk about the recession."
Rastani's website, http://www.leadingtrader.com, states he is "an experienced stock market and forex trader and professional speaker".
Source: PAReuse content