[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated:  Wednesday, 19 February, 2003, 15:27 GMT
Guitar guru wins 'jail' damages
Bert Weedon
Weedon: His Play in a Day books have sold two million
Bert Weedon, whose guitar teaching has influenced generations of rock stars, has won "substantial" damages from the BBC after a radio station wrongly claimed he learned to play while in jail.

A judge in London's High Court awarded the sum - the amount of which is confidential - because the statement implied that Weedon had been convicted of a serious crime.

Apart from being false, the claim - made by BBC Radio 2 - was deeply hurtful and acutely embarrassing, Weedon's solicitor Simon Smith said.

Rock legends including Sir Paul McCartney, John Lennon and Eric Clapton have all cited Weedon's guitar tips in helping them learn the to play.

It may not always be fashionable in the rock music world, but my client is rightly proud of his unblemished past
Simon Smith
The allegation was made in press preview information for a Radio 2 show called Jailhouse Rock, but there was no evidence to support it, the court heard.

The same information also appeared on the press section of the BBC's website.

"Not even the BBC are sure where the mistake originated," Mr Smith said.

"It may not always be fashionable in the rock music world, but my client is rightly proud of his unblemished past and does not want that legacy damaged at this late stage of his private life and professional career."

Many of his friends took the claim seriously enough to call Weedon to ask him whether it was true, Mr Smith said.

Weedon (right) collecting his OBE with Sir James Galway
Weedon (right) collected his OBE with Sir James Galway
"This has saddened, and distressed Mr Weedon greatly."

The BBC had been conciliatory throughout and agreed to publish an apology with due prominence on the appropriate part of its website, Mr Smith added.

The BBC's solicitor, Philip Lawrence, said the corporation offered its sincere apologies and accepted that the allegation was without foundation and ought never have been made.

The court was told that Mr Weedon had performed with stars like Frank Sinatra, Nat King Cole and Judy Garland and Cliff Richard, during his career.

He is best-known for his Play in a Day guitar instruction book, which has sold more than two million copies around the world, and was made an OBE in 2001.



Knighthood for flautist Sir James
12 Dec 01 |  Entertainment

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites


News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East | South Asia
UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature | Technology | Health
Have Your Say | In Pictures | Week at a Glance | Country Profiles | In Depth | Programmes
Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific