Dec 14

The cheek of it! BBC boss claims Press is using outcry over fakery to take revenge for his hacking inquiry coverage (Daily Mail, Dec. 14, 2011):

  • Mark Thompson suggests criticism misleading footage comes from bitterness about Corporation’s reporting of the Leveson inquiry
  • Bosses stun viewers by admitting they often fake documentary footage
  • Sequence of caterpillar freezing and thawing was filmed ‘in a box’
  • ‘We’re making movies’ says presenter Sir David Attenborough
  • The head of the BBC yesterday blamed the deluge of criticism about its ‘faked’ scenes of polar bear cubs on newspaper bitterness over the corporation’s comprehensive coverage of the phone-hacking inquiry.

    Director-general Mark Thompson suggested the issue of the misleading Frozen Planet footage was being used as a way of retaliating against the BBC for its reporting of the Leveson inquiry into Press standards.

    ‘I do rather wonder whether this is really about polar bears or about Lord Leveson and other matters,’ he said.

    Mr Thompson also said viewers had already effectively given it the go-ahead to fake scenes in natural history shows without telling them.

    Millions thought the scene had been captured by BBC cameramen inside an underground cave in the sub-zero temperatures of the Arctic wilderness.

    But the footage, narrated by Sir David Attenborough, and interspersed with real shots of the Arctic, was in fact filmed in a den made of plaster and wood in a wildlife enclosure at a Dutch zoo.

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