Media: Hit or Miss - BBC responds to media furore over University Challenge

Non-starter for ten

It was all going so well. The BBC's University Challenge secured a flurry of positive coverage focused on Gail Trimble, the captain of the series-winning Corpus Christi team who was branded 'the human Google'. But then the BBC had to disqualify the team after discovering one of the members was not a student at the time of filming the final. It has since emerged that other winning teams have also been ineligible.


Andrew Fairburn, Director, Regester Larkin

Senior BBC executives must be feeling pretty beaten up. They got a bloody nose for their appalling handling of Sachs-gate, a few bruises for their reaction to Carol Thatcher's off-air comments and now even the usually sympathetic Guardian has laid into them.

The BBC has made some big mistakes, but its handling of Uni-gate has been spot on. The organisation's most vital long-term challenge is to maintain the trust of viewers. By taking decisive action, no matter what might have gone on in the past, the BBC has demonstrated it at least now takes this seriously. But many of the traps into which the BBC has fallen could be avoided if executives asked for audits of their biggest reputational risks.

The challenge now for the BBC is to regain confidence while maintaining a sense of humility.


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