One of the greatest f@ck-ups in television history is celebrating its 15th anniversary today, and to celebrate B&T thought it deserving to drag it back out of the archives for a well-deserved birthday airing.
Going back to May 11th 2006, the infamous television moment happened when accountant Guy Goma arrived at the BBC’s London studios for a job interview in the broadcaster’s tech department.
However, in the heady atmosphere that is live TV and the greatest mix-up in television history, Goma ended up being grilled on live TV after being mistaken for technology expert, a chap called Guy Kewney, who had been waiting in another reception area of the building.
The on-air segment related to Apple Computer’s court case with the Beatles’ record label, Apple Corps
In one of the most magical moments in television, Goma quickly tweaks that this is no job interview and rather than ‘fess up to the interviewer and viewers at home he bravely – and quite wonderfully – simply plays along with the entire charade.
Relive the glorious disaster below:
According to reports at the time, Goma had been waiting in the main reception area of the BBC Television Centre to be interviewed for a job as an accountant in the corporation’s IT department.
At the same time, technology expert and journalist Guy Kewney (pictured below), was in another reception area waiting for his live television interview on the subject of the Apple court case.
A producer was sent to fetch “Guy” from reception, however, the wrong Guy put his hand up.
Goma was then led to the BBC’s News 24 studio, put into makeup, and ushered to the studio set, where he was seated in front of the cameras and wired up with a microphone.
It’s only when the program’s host, Karen Bowerman, introduced Goma as an “internet expert” does the entire calamity begin to unravel.
Goma went on to make international headlines for his courageous effort. He even got interviewed for the job he was originally there for, however, was unsuccessful.
According to Goma’s Wikipedia page – such was his celebrity at the time – the Congolese national was suspected of being “in Britain illegally, having overstayed a tourist visa”.
In 2016, the incident was named as the greatest moment on BBC’s most memorable interview bloopers.
For his part, the real Guy Kewney certainly didn’t see the funny side.
Writing on a blog soon after the incident, Kewney said: “And the fact that a few hundred thousand people in the world are now under the impression that I’m an ignoramus who knows nothing about technology or Apple or iPods, and has a very poor command of English? – well, that’s not the Beeb’s problem, is it? After all, is a journalist going to sue the BBC and get blacklisted? Of course not!”
The South African-born Kewney passed away in 2010 at the age of 63. Goma’s current whereabouts are unclear.
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