UPDATE. Apparently the British news sources got the “cabbie” angle all wrong and Guy Kewney himself has chimed in on the matter with what may be the real story.

First let’s start with Guy Kewney. Here’s what he looks like. He’s been a fixture in British hi-tech reporting for 30 years.

He’s been featured on the BBC before (linked here).

So apparently he’s scheduled to do a BBC interview and some bonehead grabs a cab driver (by some reports) or another person named “Guy” by later reports — instead of Kewney — and nobody notices. Here’s the video feed:

related link:
Times article on the gaffe itself. Hilarious!
Another article here.
Even AFTER the fiasco the BBC didn’t get the situation correct. Watch this.


Now considering all the stories to date this new angle shows up in my inbox. We’ll see where this goes. It adds a new dimension.

More as this unfolds, Guy and me have a BBC source. :) And I guess a
Daily Mail guy is all over it….

That “Guy” – he really is a Guy, and not a cab driver, either!

by Guy J Kewney | posted on 15 May 2006

OK, reset everything you’ve heard about my appearance on the BBC: they’ve found the “taxi driver” and (as I have constantly tried to explain to everybody) he isn’t a taxi driver.

His name is Guy Goma – which goes some way to explaining why he (and the BBC receptionist) assumed that someone asking for Guy Kewney was asking for him.

And he wasn’t there to pick up a fare, because he’s not a cabbie. He’s a Business Studies graduate, from the Congo, and he was there in reception because he was applying for a high level IT job with the BBC.

Apparently the unflappable Mr Goma assumed the whole thing was some kind of initiation prank. His own speciality is data cleansing, and (my source inside the Beeb tells me) was “a little upset that nobody asked him about his data cleansing expertise.”

Once again, the Daily Mail proves itself to be hotter on this trail than anybody else, and a Mail reporter has been posing Mr Goma outside the White City headquarters of the BBC. A picture story will be in tomorrow’s edition, apparently.

The question you have to eventually ask is how did this story get so mis-reported over and over. And why does a tech writer, Kewney, have to come in and straighteni it out for the media? And he has to do it on a blog! Geez. These people are actually paid money to report news?

kudos to Chris Coulter

  1. SN says:

    I tried watching it three times. It’s just too painful!

  2. Phil Bridges says:

    Funny, I thought one of the British blogs would have picked this up first.. kudos to the BBC for admitting their error… and well done JD for blogging it so soon, .how does that saying go .. “you heard it here first folks?”

    (Useless tip no 8033 – , we often refer to the BBC as ‘Aunty’ here in the Brit.. )

  3. KarmaBaby says:

    Reminds me of the Seinfeld epsiode where George gets into the wrong limo at the airport, and is subsequently mistaken for O’Brien, the famous leader of a white supremist group.

  4. site admin says:

    I’m surprised thar the British blogs were not all over this. They should be!

  5. Carl Trimble says:

    One cab fair… $6 (3 euro)
    One badge with Kewney written on it. $2 (1.2 euro)
    The look on the “real” Kewney’s face as he watches the events unfold…

    Great clip!

  6. The Aussie says:

    Typical of those lightweight broadcasting reporter types; no wonder journalism has gone down the poop chute. A print reporter would have sorted the bugger out in short order.

  7. David M. Bishop says:

    Actually, the same thing almost happened to me about 15-20 years ago…

    A friend of mine was a Production Assistant at Fox 5 in NYC and I came in to visit him. I met him in the lobby and he told me to wait there while he got me a pass and went up the elevator to his office. About 5 minutes later, a Page comes up to me and says “Oh good, you’re here. Come with me.” and we walk into the elevators. I’m assuming that my friend sent him down to get me. We go up and he takes me into the Green Room for the evening news and tells me that I will be on the air in about 30 minutes. Now, I’m figuring that my friend is playing a joke on me, so I go along with it. A couple of minutes later, my friend bursts into the room and drags me out. I’m cracking up, and he’s petrified that he’s going to lose his job (all turned out OK). We never did find out who I was supposed to be.


  8. Frank IBC says:

    The guy’s self-control is amazing. The BBC should hire him, stat.

  9. baalhazor says:

    From the link: “It is not the first time that the BBC has been embarrassed by a case of mistaken identity. Last year Rhodri Morgan, the First Minister of Wales, was mistaken for a cast member of Doctor Who”

    Good Lord, what is going on at the BBC?

  10. Jason says:

    I like how just after she introduces him by Guy’s name, he gets the most panicked/just-realized-what’s-going-on look on his face.

    Then, cool as a cucumber. This guy’s awesome.

  11. JimS says:

    He should consider becoming a politician.

  12. GregAllen says:

    As a media guy, I felt my chest constricting when I watched this. I can’t believe they actually pulled it off!

    It’s king of amazing that the taxi driver gave reasonabley good sound bite (accent aside) — not that different than many experts!

    And probably LESS dis-information than a typical “FOXspert”

  13. Alphgeek says:

    I actually found the gent’s interview to be as informative, if not more informative, than 75% of the drivel passing for news on TV these days.

  14. estacado says:

    If this happenned in the U.S., the cabbie would’ve already been given his own sitcom or talk show.

  15. Guy Kewney says:

    It turns out he’s not a cabbie, and amazingly, he really is called Guy!
    I just heard from my source inside the Beeb, and my blog (see link) gives all I know.

    I still think he was ruddy amazing. I’m trying to imagine how I’d cope with being rushed into a studio in Paris, and interviewed in French, about a rock star…

  16. Peter Rodwell says:

    Yes, but what we all want to know is, did Kewney drive the cab after the show?

  17. Gig says:

    I’m surprised how bad the BBC InfoBabe was. Here ” eh eh” was harder to listen to than Mr. Goma.

  18. site admin says:

    Well, Kewney? How did you get home?

  19. Mike says:

    I guess the other thing to take away from this is the reporter wasn’t even listening to the answers given, and was only reciting the few questions she had come up with before the interview. Hell, I could do that.

  20. Don says:

    *These people are actually paid money to report news?* Hah! They’re paid, for sure and they do report, but it’s rare that it’s *news*. And any relation the reporting has to what actually happened is usually serendipitous. If facts need to be ignored in order to make the story more appealing to the masses, then so be it. It is a business, after all.

  21. ECA says:

    Whats REAL funny,
    Is that He was SUPPOSED to be a regular???
    And they didnt know WHAT he looked like???
    Hadnt SEEN any of his shows???

  22. 5cent_cigar says:

    Why will this movie not play in ‘Opera’ ?

  23. AB CD says:

    What doy ou expect form a network that doesn’t have to comepte for viewers. You complain about Microsoft’s licensing and plans for renting software, but in the UK, you have to pay money every year just to own a television. All this money goes to the BBC.

  24. DIDIAN says:

    This guy is amazing. After overcoming the initial shock he proceded with the calm of a seasonal politician. The BBC should give this guy the job he applied for. He has all the skills needed in politics.

  25. Someone confused me with the ‘real’ Guy Kewney here in Zaragoza – which is where the ‘real no-so-black’ Guy is hanging out.

  26. Goony_googoo says:

    That was absolutely amazing. I’ve always wanted that to happen to me haha. I hope the black Guy can go on a lot of talk shows and get semi-famous – leading to further exposure, and hopefully leading to a data-cleansing job! Maybe some high level exec will see this and contact him. Maybe he can become the next James Bond – he as already proven to be a matser of disguise!! Good luck Guy!!!

  27. jcjfang says:

    laugh and sympathize BBC

  28. Steve says:

    @25. One of the objectives of the BBC is to educate. http://www.bbc.co.uk/info/purpose/

    From your posting I guess you could do with a little education, “doy ou form… comepte”.

    Given a choice between “Fair & Balanced” (!) Fox and a BBC funded by the license fee…

  29. Simon says:

    This is a classic clip! To give Guy Goma his credit, he didn’t do too badly. For most laughter though, watch his face as the presenter introduces him. Makes me laugh every time!

  30. Emery says:

    That Guy is fantastic. He should be given a great job.


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