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BBC mistakes cab driver for IT-expert

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Uploaded on May 15, 2006

A computer expert has described his astonishment at seeing the BBC's 24-hour news channel interview a taxi driver - in the mistaken belief it was him.

Guy Kewney - a white, bearded technology expert - was astonished to see himself appear on screen as a black man with an apparent French accent. He was even more shocked to see himself unable to answer basic questions about the legal battle between the Beatles' Apple Corps and Apple Computer over the use of an apple symbol.

Mr Kewney, an IT journalist and founder of newswireless.net, watched as the cabbie, who has not been named, gamely attempted to answer questions fired at him by BBC consumer affairs correspondent Karen Bowerman.

The man, who had been waiting for his fare in the reception of Television Centre, found himself being ushered into a studio and fitted with a microphone after raising his hand when a producer called out the name Guy Kewney.

On his website, the real Mr Kewney, said that the man "seemed as baffled as I felt" when asked about the consequences of the lawsuit live on BBC News 24.

It is unclear why the driver identified himself when Mr Kewney's named was called but it is thought he had been waiting to pick the computer expert up.

Only when Ms Bowerman announced live on air the name and title of the man who should have been there and asked the first question did the driver realise there had been a mix-up.

A BBC spokeswoman said: "Unfortunately we did make a mistake and the wrong person was interviewed briefly on air before we cut to our reporter.

"We apologise to viewers for any confusion."

Do you know the mystery cab driver? Contact the newsdesk on 0207 9386063 or by email at news@dailymail.co.uk.

The interview

Karen Bowerman: Guy Kewney is editor of the technology website Newswireless.

Face of horror

KB: Hello, good morning to you.

Taxi driver: Good morning.

KB: Were you surprised by this verdict today.

Taxi driver: I am very surprised to see... this verdict to come on me because I was not expecting that. When I came they told me somehting else and I am coming. So a big surprise anyway.

KB: A big surprise, yeah, yes.

Taxi driver: Exactly.

KB: With regards to the costs involved do you think now more people will be downloading online?

Taxi driver: Actually If you can walk everywhere yoy are going to see a lot of people downloading the internet and the website and everything they want. But I think eh It is much better for development and eh to inform people what they want and to get the easy way and so faster if they are looking for.

KB: It does really seem the way the music industry's progressing now that people want to go onto the website and download music.

Taxi driver: Exactly you can go everywhere on the cyber cafe and you can take, you can go easy. It is going to be an easy way for everyone to get something to the internet

KB: Thank you. Thanks very much indeed.

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