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Guy Goma BBC interview

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Guy Goma BBC interview
Guy Goma during the interview
Date8 May 2006
VenueTelevision Centre, London
ThemeApple Corps v Apple Computer
Filmed byBBC News 24

On 8 May 2006, the television station BBC News 24 wanted to interview technology journalist Guy Kewney about the Apple Corps v Apple Computer legal dispute. By mistake, the BBC let Karen Bowerman interview Guy Goma (born 1969), a Congolese-French business studies graduate from Brazzaville in the Republic of the Congo, who came to the BBC for a job interview as a data cleanser.[1][2] The incident became one of the BBC's most widely reported bloopers.



Goma was waiting in the main reception area of the BBC Television Centre in west London to be interviewed for a job as a data support cleanser in the corporation's IT department. At the same time, Guy Kewney, a British technology expert, was in another reception area preparing for a live television interview on the subject of Apple Computer's court case with the Beatles' record label, Apple Corps. The producer sent to fetch Kewney was told that Kewney was in the main reception area. When he asked the receptionist where Guy Kewney was, she pointed to Goma, even after he asked if she was sure this was the right person.

The producer had seen a photo of Kewney, but only had five minutes before the live interview was due to take place. He approached Goma and asked him if he was "Guy".[3] Hearing his first name, Goma answered in the affirmative. Goma was led to the News 24 studio. BBC staff put on makeup, and he was ushered to the television studio, where he was seated in front of the cameras and wired up with a microphone. Although he thought the situation was strange, he believed he was about to be interviewed for a job.

When introduced by interviewer Karen Bowerman as Internet expert Guy Kewney, Goma realised there had been a misunderstanding and was visibly shocked. Aware that he was on live television and not wishing to make a scene, Goma attempted to answer questions about the Apple Corps v Apple Computer case and its ramifications for the music industry.[1] Kewney, still in the waiting area, was shocked when he saw Goma interviewed in his place, though he was not able to hear the audio.



Twenty minutes after the television interview, Goma attended his job interview, which lasted ten minutes.[4] He was not hired.[5]

As soon as the mistake was detected, the BBC recorded an interview with Kewney for later broadcast, which was never shown. The BBC instead brought in an alternative pundit, Rupert Goodwins, for the next live slot on the topic.[6] Afterward, Goma appeared on BBC again in a follow-up interview, during which he apologized to Kewney for taking his spot.[7]

Later history


On 16 May 2006, Goma appeared on Channel 4 News and was jokingly questioned by the presenter—introducing him as a Venezuelan citizen, a lawyer and a doctor respectively—on the topics of Hugo Chávez, the release of foreign prisoners into Britain, and Britons seeking medical treatment abroad. On the same day, he also appeared again on BBC News 24, but this time in a planned interview to talk about his experience.[8] He later appeared in a comedy skit on The Big Fat Quiz of the Year 2006. Film producer Alison Rosenzweig stated in 2006 that she had begun developing a film based on his life, particularly this one incident, commenting "He's a fun, kind of internationally famous person that I think is an interesting source for movie material."[9] As of December 2023, no such film has been produced. In 2022, Goma was interviewed on the BBC World Service's Outlook programme about his experience.[10]

In 2016, ten years after Goma's appearance, the incident was named one of the BBC's most memorable interview bloopers, and some outlets noted that Goma's prediction that more people would be using the Internet to download music and other media they want was largely correct.[2][11][12]

In 2023, Goma announced on a podcast that he would be suing the BBC for royalties.[7] In October of the same year, Goma featured in the BBC trailer for series 66 of Have I Got News For You playing the role of guest host as well as three of the four panelists.[13]


  1. ^ a b "The BBC's best accidental interview?" (1'46" video). BBC News. 11 May 2021.
  2. ^ a b Boult, Adam (10 May 2016). "When BBC News interviewed the wrong Guy – and seven more memorable bloopers". The Daily Telegraph. London. Retrieved 11 March 2017.
  3. ^ "BBC News 'wrong Guy' is revealed", BBC News, 16 May 2006.
  4. ^ Guy Goma, interview on GMTV, 16 May 2006
  5. ^ "'Wrong guy' loses shirt for Oxfam", BBC News, 30 May 2006.
  6. ^ "BBC talks of iPod people as my identity is stolen" by Guy Kewney, IT Week, 15 May 2006.
  7. ^ a b Moloney, Charlie (27 August 2023). "Man in viral 2006 BBC interview mixup says he will sue for royalties". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 30 August 2023.
  8. ^ "Guy Goma recalls his experience" (RealPlayer). BBC News. 16 May 2006.
  9. ^ "'Wrong Guy' could inspire movie". BBC News. 23 August 2006.
  10. ^ "BBC World Service – Outlook, I was interviewed on live TV by accident". BBC.
  11. ^ Golby, Joel (9 May 2016). "Ten Years On: A Lesson in Thinking on Your Feet By Guy Goma – VICE". Vice. Retrieved 11 March 2017.
  12. ^ Lewis, Simon (10 May 2016). "It's Been 10 Years Since the Wrong Guy Analyzed the Internet for the BBC". Time. Retrieved 18 December 2022.
  13. ^ McGeorge, Alistair (2 October 2023). "Hero mistaken for IT expert makes Have I Got News For You 'announcement'". Metro. Retrieved 6 October 2023.