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Last Updated: Monday, 8 October 2007, 11:59 GMT 12:59 UK
No interviews faked, says Yentob
Alan Yentob
Imagine host Yentob is the creative director for the BBC
Senior BBC executive Alan Yentob has revealed no bogus reaction shots were used in arts show Imagine, following weeks of speculation on the subject.

The BBC's creative director told the Guardian no so-called "noddies" were used - having previously admitted it was possible that they had been.

"It's all my own fault," he is quoted as saying. "It was foolish of me to respond in that fashion."

A BBC spokeswoman said the corporation would not be commenting on the matter.

The issue came to light as part of the BBC's ongoing efforts to restore public trust in the wake of a number of serious editorial breaches.

Last week BBC One controller Peter Fincham resigned after an investigation into the row surrounding the documentary A Year with the Queen.

Editorial breaches

"Noddies" is an industry term for brief cutaways to a presenter, used in order to edit or condense an interview for broadcast.

In an editor's blog published last month, BBC director general Mark Thompson said he not believe their alleged use in the Imagine programme "represented any kind of bad faith or conscious effort to deceive".

Former BBC One boss Peter Fincham
BBC One controller Peter Fincham resigned last week
However, he said pieces of inserted footage "should only be included if they formed part of the original interview".

This led Luke Crawley of broadcasting union Bectu to question why Mr Yentob had not been disciplined, where other more junior staff working in other areas had been.

"Why should junior members of staff be punished whilst senior members of staff can escape the consequences of their actions by resigning?" he wrote on the union's official website on Friday.

"In the case of Alan Yentob, he admitted deliberately deceiving the viewing public by having someone else ask the questions in his 'authored' documentary Imagine series and is still employed!" he said.

According to the Guardian, though, a staff investigation of interview footage used on the programme revealed that no "noddies" had ever been broadcast.


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