| ||BBC admits error, offers apology to Blair
10 Jul 2003 by Malcolm Drury
After much wrangling, the BBC has at last apologised to the government. BBC press officer Douglas Ramsbottom read the following prepared statement at a hastily convened press conference at Television Centre this morning.
"On May 4th this year a BBC weather announcer on the nightly local news programme predicted heavy rain showers for the following day in the Bootle area. No such showers occurred, with the 5th being fine and sunny. Unfortunately, this erroneous forecast, which was based on the BBC's practice of using its own interpretation of information from the Meteorological Office, caused the Prime Minister to cancel a planned visit to a new housing development on the outskirts of the town.
"The BBC deeply regrets its error, accepts full responsibility for it, apologises unreservedly to Mr. Blair, and hopes that the government will look favourably on its request for an increase in the licence fee. The weather announcer in question has been re-assigned to reading the late night farming report on Radio Orkney and the BBC is taking steps to ensure that no such error will occur again. We will no longer use our own interpretation of the official Met Office data, and are therefore confident that all weather forecasts we broadcast in future will be completely accurate."
Mr. Ramsbottom did not entertain questions.
Oi, down here!