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The Wrong 'Guy'

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The Wrong 'Guy'

Postby knapplc » Tue May 16, 2006 10:14 am

What are the odds that two men named 'Guy' would have interviews at the BBC at the same time - one for a job, the other as an on-air expert?

And what are the odds that these two 'Guys' would get mixed up?

Apparently those odds are pretty good...

LONDON - The BBC interviewed the wrong Guy.

The network has apologized to its viewers for a studio mix up that resulted in a man mistakenly appearing on live television as Guy Kewney — an expert on Internet music downloads.

In fact the man was Guy Goma, a Congolese man applying for a technology-related job with the British Broadcasting Corp. Goma followed an employee to the studio after a mistake at a reception desk, the corporation said late Monday.

The BBC said it apologized to viewers for any confusion.

The case of mistaken identity occurred on May 8 — the day Britain's High Court awarded Apple Computer a victory in a lawsuit against Apple Corps, The Beatles' commercial arm.

In a reaction piece following the verdict, the BBC News 24 consumer affairs correspondent Karen Bowerman ostensibly welcomed computer expert Kewney.

After she introduced the apparent expert, there was a moment when Goma winced. He scrunched his face in panic and tried to open his mouth as if to explain.

"Were you surprised by this verdict today?" Bowerman asked.

"I'm very surprised to see the verdict come on me because I was not expecting that," he said in a heavy French accent, blinking in the studio lights. "When I came, they told me something else."

Nonplussed, he pressed on, growing more confident in his punditry as the interview progressed. He gamely delivered his opinion on the future of music downloads and cyber cafes following the landmark verdict.

Meanwhile, the real Kewney, who was waiting to be taken to the studio, looked up on a monitor and found another man in the interviewee's chair.

"What would you feel, if while you were sitting in that rather chilly reception area, you suddenly saw yourself not sitting in reception, but live, on TV? A bit surprised?" Kewney wrote on his Web log.

Kewney, who could not be reached for comment Monday, said on his blog that he was amused at first — but then thought that viewers would think he did not know his subject, hurting his reputation.

Kewney and other media outlets originally reported that Goma was a cab driver — though the BBC later said the reports were inaccurate.

Producers apparently realized by the end of the interview that something had gone wrong — and, after they had gone off the air, asked their "expert" if there was a problem.

"He said: 'Well, it was OK, but I was a bit rushed,' Kewney wrote on his blog.

Goma told the BBC his interview was stressful, but added he was prepared to return to the airwaves. He said he was "happy to speak about any situation," the BBC reported. Officials at BBC declined to comment on whether he would get the job he was applying for.
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knapplc
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