Sunday, December 02, 2018

Vicargate made me remember when the BBC did pay actors to pose as members of the public

My first reaction to Vicargate - the appearance of a woman on Newsnight in a dog collar when she is not ordained in any recognised church - was that it was extremely funny.

When I could see its serious side, I reflected that it was an unfortunate event that the BBC would wish to avoid in future.

But I reckoned without Auntie's unwillingness ever to admit that she has made a mistake.

Here is what Newsnight tweeted in response to those who questioned this incident:
It's true that some people noticed that Lynn is also an actress and has also appeared on several other news programmes, but that was not my concern. From my point of view, it looked as though the BBC had invented a conspiracy theory only to knock it down.

But I was reminded of a BBC News story from 1999, the era when Vanessa Feltz was being promoted by the corporation as a British Oprah Winfrey:
Talk show host Vanessa Feltz is to work on new shows for the BBC after the scrapping of her daytime programme. 
The Vanessa Show was at the centre of a row over fake guests earlier this year, after allegations that actors were booked to appear as genuine guests. 
Four production staff are no longer with the BBC and another was given a formal warning after the show was accused of featuring bogus models, actresses and strippers, and two total strangers posing as sisters.
Makes you think, doesn't it? Though you could be kind and take it as an index of how seriously the BBC takes such deception.

"Pastor", to return to Vicargate, is a conveniently loose word. Lynn turns out to be ordained in an internet-based church dedicated to making its adherents rich and to have a history of tweeting against Islam.

That's her in full fig in the photograph above. If she appears on the BBC yet again, she should me made to dress like that.

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