BBC legend Peter Snow said he was appalled by the revelation of fake election results on the BBC. Snow, who has been in charge of the BBC's swingometer on election nights from the 1960s onwards, put the error down to egotistical madness and said that he thought the BBC should stand down over the incident.
Last night, the BBC issued an apology to viewers after 50 million voters entered the 1979 contest to keep the Tories out of power. But due to technical problems with the swingometer, the BBC asked the Chilean dictator, Augustus Pinochet, who was visiting the studio, to vote.
Speaking on a host of BBC radio and TV programmes this morning, Mr Snow said he was "absolutely gobsmacked and feeling a huge push in the shires".
"What one has to remember is one has to distinguish between South American coups which are deliberate and premeditated, and this ghastly thing that happened in '79," he said.
"It was a mixture of incompetence and over-education. The swingometer stuck, live transmission, panic. The irony was that I was completely oblivious of what was going on. Pinochet was picked out, and that's how it happened. I always wondered why I could never find anyone who admitted voting Thatcher into three landslide victories, but now I know."
He said that he hoped that the BBC would recover from the scandal.
"I do hope the BBC will win back the trust of the voter."