BBC interviews cabbie on media policy

May 15, 2006

In a case of mistaken identity, a London cab driver was pulled into a BBC television studio for a live interview about the Internet music business.

With the seconds ticking down to a discussion about a court case involving Apple Computer and The Beatles' record label, a floor manager had run to lobby and grabbed the man. The BBC worker mistook the cabbie for Guy Kewney, editor of Newswireless.net, a specialist Internet publication, The Mail reported.

Baffled, but compliant, the cab driver was fitted with a microphone and allowed himself to be marched in to the studio. Cameras rolled, and he was quizzed live on the air by consumer affairs correspondent Karen Bowerman -- who missed the cabbie's panic-stricken expression when he realized he was being interviewed.

The man gamely attempted to bluff his way through and, speaking in a strong French accent, sustained a -- somewhat illogical -- form of conversation.

A tape of the exchange on the News 24 channel, broadcast on Monday morning, has become a classic among BBC workers.

The taxi driver "seemed as baffled as I felt," said Kewney who had watched the interview on a monitor in the reception area.

Copyright 2006 by United Press International

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