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Page last updated at 07:48 GMT, Wednesday, 19 September 2012 08:48 UK

New BBC chief: Thames Pageant coverage 'disappointing'


The BBC's new director general has admitted that the corporation's television coverage of the Thames Pageant to mark the Queen's Diamond Jubilee - which faced accusations of "dumbing down" the occasion and of factual errors - was "disappointing".

Interviewed on the Today programme George Entwistle, who took over from Mark Thompson earlier this week, said "I would be happy to add my apologies to those already articulated by BBC people, particularly about the factual mistakes we made.

"One of the key things for the essence of the BBC is to get its facts straight." But he added: "We were genuinely thrown out of our stride by the weather."

Mr Entwistle also said that the corporation would provide more opportunities for women presenters and that it had worked hard on "getting more women to present our factual programmes" in recent years.

"The key is to find people who have the right things to say, have expertise and bring them in," he told presenter John Humphrys. "I know the BBC has to be better in this regard."

But added that he did not believe the solution was "turfing out a whole load of blokes who might be doing their jobs brilliantly with a view to getting women in".

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