Radio reporter uses 'misguided' method to pass off soldier interview as own

By Zoe Smith

The BBC has apologised for the use of an ‘inappropriate production technique’

after a local radio station tried to pass off a BBC Five Live interview as original material.

BBC Hereford and Worcester broadcast an interview last week with SAS soldier Ben Griffin, who refused to fight in Iraq, which had appeared earlier that day on BBC Five Live.

The presenter of the station’s Drivetime Show, Richard Wilford, edited the original broadcast by dubbing his voice over the original interviewer’s, thereby giving listeners the impression that the clip was original material.

In a statement to Press Gazette the BBC said: "When we use material which has already appeared on other BBC outlets it is made clear that it was pre-recorded.

"In this case the Radio Five Live interview with the SAS soldier was repeated on BBC H&W, with the same questions over-dubbed by one of our presenters, and the effect was to make it sound as if our presenter had conducted the original interview. It was the result of an inappropriate production technique, rather than a deliberate attempt to deceive, but it was misguided."

Griffin claimed to have witnessed "dozens of illegal acts" during his time in Iraq, refused to serve alongside American forces and left the army over the "illegal" tactics of United States troops and the policies of coalition forces.

Wilford, whose background is in sports journalism, joined the Drivetime Show as a presenter in January after more than 10 years working at BBC WM. When news of his appointment was announced last year, he said: "I’m really flattered to be given the chance to spread my wings and put my own stamp on the Drivetime Show."

The BBC said: "We have reminded our staff that it has always been our policy to be completely open about the origin of our interviews and other content."

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