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Bargain Hunt censured by BBC watchdog after man claims show tarnished his name

Abbianca Makoni
·1-min read
<p>Eric Knowles from Bargain Hunt</p> (BBC)

Eric Knowles from Bargain Hunt

(BBC)

Bargain Hunt has been censured by the BBC’s complaints watchdog after a dealer said false on-air claims tarnished his name.

Peter, 60, said the programme had damaged his reputation in the industry by suggesting a ring he sold was made in the 1950s, and not Victorian as he claimed.

The ring was subsequently disqualified after the auctioneer, Raj Bisram, one of the show’s regular experts, said it actually dated from the mid-20th century.

During the episode, which was filmed in Dorking, Surrey, the verdict was presented as indisputable, with the presenter Eric Knowles telling viewers: “It’s Victorian in style, yes, but the date mark is definitely for 1951.”

Peter, who did not want his second name reported, said he made his concerns known, but that the broadcaster did not correct the record for a number of weeks.

When the BBC did respond it said that expert opinions were divided.

Desperate to protect his reputation, Peter approached Goldsmiths’ Company livery guild who established that the dealer’s Victorian dating was correct.

Following the guild’s conclusion, the BBC’s highest complaint-investigating body has now rebuked the programme for failing to set the record straight.

Peter told the Times he "loved" the BBC but was shocked by its response. He said: “I know it’s an entertainment programme, but if you’ve got any journalistic standards you can’t just accuse somebody of a criminal offence and laugh it off."

A BBC spokesperson said: “We note the findings and have apologised to the dealer. The programme will not be re-broadcast with the mistake in it.”

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