BBC settles Panorama IVF libel claim

The BBC has agreed to settle its libel battle with IVF specialist Mohamed Taranissi over a Panorama programme, the corporation confirmed today.

Egyptian-born Taranissi claimed that the January 2007 broadcast, IVF Undercover, had damaged his reputation by making defamatory allegations about his techniques.

Taranissi has previously been described as the UK’s most successful fertility doctor, after his Assisted Reproduction and Gynaecology Centre (ARGC) in London topped a league table of success for fertility clinics.

A brief statement from the BBC, which did not go into figures, said the matter had been settled.

A BBC spokesman said: “Both parties have agreed to settle and not to continue forward and consider the matter now closed.”

Last October, the High Court ordered the BBC to pay an estimated £500,000 in costs to Taranissi after the BBC withdrew part of its defence.

Taranissi’s counsel, Richard Rampton QC, said previously that the BBC had “thrown in the towel” after months of hard work and hundreds of thousands of pounds in costs being incurred.

But the BBC had intended to fight on and its QC, Adrienne Page, said in October: “The BBC stands fully behind their journalists and the programme, and expect to have it vindicated at trial.”

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