Ten years ago this week, a man named Guy Goma walked into the London offices of the BBC to interview for a job in the broadcaster’s IT department.
What happened to him next is the plotline of an anxiety-fueled nightmare. A confused producer mistook Goma for Guy Kewney, an Internet expert and tech writer who had been scheduled for a live interview about Apple Inc.’s legal battle with Beatles’ record label Apple Corps.
Goma was brushed with makeup and wired with a microphone. And then he was brought on set and interviewed live on TV.
This is Goma’s face the moment he realized exactly what was happening:
To his credit, Goma remained as composed and professional as the situation allowed. When reporter Karen Bowerman asked if he was “surprised” by the verdict, he answered truthfully: “I’m very surprised to see this verdict come on me. I was not expecting that.”
(And no, he did not get the IT job.)
In its 87-year history of televised news, the BBC has produced some exceptional journalism and inevitable moments of embarrassment.
There was the time Simon McCoy went on air clutching a ream of printer paper instead of an iPad:
And the stretch in 2014 when the broadcaster’s new robotic cameras went rogue:
All great reminders of the importance of keeping calm and carrying on.