Children's television programme Blue Peter is at the centre of a third scandal in only a few months. First, they cheated in a viewers' competition. Secondly, the Asian presenter shared a political platform with Labour Mayor of London Ken Livingston in breach of the BBC's strict policy of political neutrality. Now they admit they rigged the result of a viewers' poll about the name for the new Blue Peter cat. Most viewers wanted the name Cookie but Blue Peter named it Socks.
In a desperate measure to regain viewer trust and confidence, Blue Peter bosses organised a telephone poll, with the single question "Do you trust Blue Peter?" The result was an overwhelming yes!
Of the 1,357,542 viewers who rung in, paying 50 pence a minute and earning the BBC a cool £2,036,313 over the course of a 3 minute call, as many as 1,493,296 expressed complete support for the programme. Less than 0 expressed any dissatisfaction.
BBC boss Mark Thompson said:
"There you have it. Everybody's happy. Plus another 10%."
Whether this will be enough to placate the National Association of Viewers is another matter. A mathematically gifted member of the NAV claimed:
"The numbers don't stack up."
Blue Peter has announced that it will hold another poll into whether the numbers stack up.
No prizes for guessing the result of that.