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Tuesday, 30 October, 2001, 16:45 GMT
Question Time complaints upheld
David Dimbleby
David Dimbleby hosted the programme
The BBC's own watchdog has upheld viewers' complaints about an edition of Question Time shown two days after the 11 September attacks on the US.

Twenty-one viewers called the programme complaints unit after the frank discussion programme in which some members of the audience expressed strong anti-US views.

The discussion appeared to distress panellist Philip Lader, the former US ambassador to the UK.

Greg Dyke
Dyke called it "an inappropriate programme"
On Tuesday the BBC upheld their complaints about the tone and timing of the Programme, which was chaired by David Dimbleby.

Writing in the BBC's quarterly complaints bulletin, BBC director general Greg Dyke said: "The most important thing now is to learn any lessons we can about how to handle programmes of that kind in times of exceptional sensitivity, and the discussion about that is well under way."

'Great job'

But Mr Dyke added: "It's also important to keep a bit of perspective. Question Time was one misjudgment amid a massive amount of coverage of the events of September 11 and since."

Mr Dyke added that he thought the BBC had "done a great job of keeping us informed while respecting the sensitivities inherent in the situation".

The director-general issued a public apology two days after the 13 September Question Time.

"I have seen the tape of Thursday's Question Time, and on balance, I think it was an inappropriate programme to broadcast live just two days after the attacks in the US," he said at the time.

"I would like to apologise to viewers who were offended by it."

See also:

15 Sep 01 | TV and Radio
BBC chief apologises for terror debate
30 Oct 01 | Talking Point
Who is winning the media war?
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