BBC topper Mark Thompson has accused ex-RDF media creative director Stephen Lambert of “behaving disgracefully” over the misleading promo tapes for “A Year With the Queen” docu, which appeared to show Queen Elizabeth II storming out of a photoshoot.
In his first public comments since BBC1 controller Peter Fincham resigned over the RDF affair last week, Thompson said the pubcaster was “badly misled” by the indie, which produced the docu for the BBC.
“The publicity tape was an unfortunate mistake in which no one at the BBC had any intention to deceive the public or defame the queen,” he told BBC staff paper Ariel. “But Stephen Lambert at RDF behaved disgracefully in relation to the misleading tape.”
Lambert, who also resigned Friday following the publication of a report on the faked footage, is a former senior BBC documentary maker who intends to continue his career in TV.
Thompson, whose own job could be at risk as the BBC attempts to rebuild viewer trust following a series of controversies, added: “By contrast, people in the BBC, and I include Peter Fincham, may have made mistakes, but they were born of good intentions with no intention to deceive.”
Fincham, however, did the right thing by resigning, Thompson said. Turning to the subject of next week’s announcement of cuts at the troubled pubcaster, Thompson indicated that reports of up to 3,000 job losses were too pessimistic.
“I think people will be pleasantly surprised in many parts of the BBC … about the level of job losses,” he said.
Meanwhile, the acting controller of BBC1, Roly Keating, has said he does not want the job permanently.
A favorite for the post is ex-BBC children’s topper Alison Sharman, who left two years ago to become head of factual and daytime at rival terrestrial web ITV.