Broadcasting House, London - (Rotters): UK public service broadcaster the BBC has suspended all phone-in competition scams today after the TV regulator confirmed that the Children In Need fundraiser program used fake kids and the offspring of well-off celebs who were doshed up with millions of £££ collected off wannabe doogooders.
"They should have called it Children in Greed," said one source after reports that children of BBC employees were the lucky recipients of hundreds of thousands of pounds raised in the well-publicised telethon earlier this year.
BBC director-general Mark Thompson said today:
"Sounds like we've been outed. And it was s-u-c-h a damned good scam, saving the Corporation literally tens of millions of pounds in pay rises, annual bonuses and additional recruitment costs."
Some UK press sources have said that today's headlines are nothing new and that the scam has been the longest-running and most successful of any BBC enterprise since the 1960s kid's show Crackerjack.
But Thompson remains unrepentant:
"There is no need for a witch hunt. I know the idea of deceiving the public would occur to most people in the BBC."