Just get the guy, any guy, and stick him in front of the camera is, some fear, the philosophy of rolling television news. For BBC News 24, however, the bloke in reception waiting patiently to pontificate on a courtroom verdict turned out to be the wrong Guy. Guy Kewney, a computer expert, was waiting outside a BBC Television Centre studio to discuss the high court ruling on the Beatles’ Apple Corps v Apple Computer on Monday morning. As he watched the news in reception, he was amazed to see “Guy Kewney” pop up on screen. Unlike the white, bearded technology columnist for IT Week, this “Guy Kewney” was black, and appeared stumped when asked about the US computer giant and its tussle with the Beatles over the Apple trademark.
“Were you surprised by this verdict?” he was asked. “I’m very surprised at the verdict,” he gamely replied. “Because I was not expecting that when I came.”
A BBC insider said the wrong Guy was a minicab driver, waiting to pick up the real Guy. When the producer went to collect the computer expert from a different waiting area, he called out “Guy Kewney” and the driver said “hello”. He was then whisked upstairs to meet the BBC’s Karen Bowerman, who asked the first question on live TV.
There is only one Guy Kewney in Britain on the electoral roll. As the real Mr Kewney explained in his blog, the accidental impostor at first seemed “puzzled that anybody might imagine that the lawsuit had consequences”.
The BBC said: “Unfortunately we did make a mistake and the wrong guy was briefly interviewed on air before we cut to our reporter.”
The man who mistakenly appeared as an IT expert on BBC News 24 is auctioning the blue shirt he was wearing on the day he became famous for charity. Guy Goma was at the BBC for a job interview but a mix-up meant he was taken to a studio and asked on-air about the Apple vs Apple court case.
He was not offered the role as a data support cleanser but his TV appearance gained him worldwide attention.
He said equally “amazing things” could happen to the next owner of the shirt.