The Wyatt Report: 'BBC were 'wrong' to wait a day to correct Queen scandal'

Last updated at 15:27 05 October 2007

The BBC decision to delay admitting that a trailer showing the Queen had been falsely edited was today branded a "mistake" by an independent inquiry.

Will Wyatt, chairing the inquiry, said TV chiefs were wrong to wait a day before admitting their error.

The former BBC exective revealed his findings just hours after BBC1 controller Peter Fincham resigned over the "Crowngate" Scandal.

Mr Fincham had presided over a press launch earlier this summer where journalists were shown a falsely edited trailer in which the Queen appeared to be storming out of a photoshoot.

Wyatt's report said: "Throughout the morning on the day after the launch, BBC news was running with a story that two or three senior BBC staff had known since the previous evening was wrong.

"It took too long for anyone to address this and to ask 'How did this happen in the first place?"'

The report stated: "It is worth emphasising that I do not believe that anyone consciously set out to defame or misrepresent the Queen in the tape which was prepared for the BBC1 season launch.

"Nor was there ever a possibility that the misleading sequence could have been included in the finished documentary to be broadcast by the BBC.

"That said, the incident reveals misjudgments, poor practice and ineffective systems as well, of course, as the usual helping of bad luck that often accompanies such sorry affairs."

Wyatt was also highly critical of production company RDF, which made the programme and misleadingly edited the trailer.

RDF boss Stephen Lambert also resigned today as a result of the inquiry.

The report said: "A fuse was inexcusably lit when RDF edited footage of the Queen in a cavalier fashion for a promotional tape...

"The edit made it appear that the Queen walked out of the photoshoot, when she did not."

The report concluded that those handling the issue were "slow to appreciate the magnitude and import of the mistake and consequent press story and failed to involve enough people swiftly enough".

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