Pandora: BBC faces Ofcom row over interview edits
Friday 26 September 2008
Following all the drama surrounding "Crowngate", the BBC is about to rocked by another testing row over its recent series, Earth: The Climate Wars.
In the second episode of the three-part documentary, presented by the science writer Dr Iain Stewart, it spoke to a number of the global warming argument's most notable naysayers. Several of them, however, are now furious about the way in which their views were represented. Lord Monckton, a former adviser to Lady Thatcher, has even gone so far as to report the BBC to the broadcasting regulator, Ofcom.
"I have no doubt Ofcom will act," Monckton tells me. "The BBC very gravely misrepresented me and several others, as well as the science behind our argument. It is a breach of its code of conduct. I understand they have to edit these things but I was interviewed for 90 minutes and they omitted all of my scientific evidence, leaving only a few comments which sounded as though I was sceptical for personal reasons. It was rather caddish of them."
The row is reminiscent of last year's squabble over the Channel 4 documentary, The Great Global Warming Swindle, when several scientists involved claimed they had been misled over the programme's intent.
Yesterday, the BBC insisted it was standing by the programme. Meanwhile, Monckton expects several of the programme's other contributors will follow him in registering a complaint.
"Quite a few people have been in touch about it," he adds.
From 'The Office' to the Oscars?
America's love affair with Ricky Gervais continues to blossom. Last week, the US press gushed over the British funnyman's televised banter at the Emmy awards with home-grown comic Steve Carell – who stars in the US version of The Office – saying their brief skit was the only highlight in an otherwise lacklustre ceremony.
It looks as if Gervais's appearance could pay dividends. Yesterday, several showbusiness publications were tipping him as a possible host at next year's Oscars. "There has been a lot of buzz about it and considerable speculative interest," says his spokesman. "I've no doubt he would love to do it. It would be great."
Gervais has almost made a side career at cracking gags at US awards cermonies. In 2003, he collected a Golden Globe for his version of The Office with the quip: "I'm from a little place called England. We used to rule the world before you."
Cherie's crimper ties the knot
While Tony Blair has been lording it up on the US lecture circuit, his wife Cherie has been reaching into her hat drawer.
Last week, I hear, she attended the glitzy civil partnership ceremony of her stylish hairdresser Andre Suard and his long-term beau, Lee Ryan. The couple, I gather, got hitched at Babington House, the private members' club in Somerset which they hired out for the entire day.
Cherie, who during the 2005 election racked up a £7,700 bill with Suard at the Labour Party's expense, attended the black and white themed day with her daughter Catherine, 20.
There was no sign though of her husband's former mouthpiece, Alastair Campbell, who in the past has also hired Andre to attend to his manly locks. Cherie has claimed (although this is strenuously denied by Campbell) that he once charmingly referred to Suard as "only a fucking hairdresser".
An easy way to lose friends
Robert Weide, director of How To Lose Friends And Alienate People, is clearly relieved that his working relationship with the film's author, Toby Young, has finally come to an end.
"The thing about him is that he's like a child you have to keep at arm's length," he said at the film's premiere. "I mean, that stuff about him being barred from the set wasn't true."
Huw's feeling a bit sheepish
The Liberty director Shami Chakrabarti's live interview with the BBC's Huw Edwards outside the Labour conference was rudely interrupted on Wednesday. A passer-by walked in front of the camera and held up a piece of paper in front of her face. Now I can't be certain, but I'm pretty sure the note said "sheep-shagger".
Time was when Sir David Frost was the at the forefront of all the latest political gossip, but these days he enjoys a quieter existence. When Pandora ran into him at a party for the jeweller Links of London on Wednesday, he had yet to hear about Ruth Kelly's unexpected resignation. "Actually, I'm completely out of the loop on news at the moment," he said. "I've been in America so I missed both conferences entirely."
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