Written by Michael Simmonite
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Sunday, 5 August 2001

image for What A Rip Off - Cruel BBC Con Exposed
Sir David Attenborough during filming at Twycross

What do Sir David Attenborough, Craig Doyle and Keith Floyd have in common? They're all fakes according to Jim Wriddle, who worked in the BBC canteen for more than thirty years.

Jim, who has now left the BBC, makes the staggering claim that Sir David Attenborough's much acclaimed documentary programmes such as 'Life on Earth' were mostly filmed at Twycross Zoo.

In his amazing rip-off tip-off, Jim told us: "Surely no-one can honestly believe that the BBC really spent all that money on projects like Life on Earth?

"Can you really imagine all the cash that would have been involved in flying Sir David and his crew to the four corners of the globe?"

On top of his canteen duties, he spent a lot of time in the studios providing refreshments for actors, presenters and crew members.

"Don't let them pull the wool over your eyes," said Jim. "I got to know what went on. Most of that 'Life on Earth' farce was filmed at Twycross Zoo - and that includes the famous scene in which Sir David mingles with a family of gorillas.

"The really clever bit, though, was the way they filmed the overseas locations. The BBC bought in cheap, foreign films and - thanks to computer technology - ingeniously superimposed Attenborough onto them back at Broadcasting House. It's a trick they use frequently."

Jim makes another startling claim: "Travel shows are done exactly the same way. Take Holiday for instance. The next time you see Craig Doyle prancing along a sun-kissed beach with waving palm trees, don't get jealous.

"It's all done with the aid of computers here in London. Craig doesn't travel well at all - he doesn't even have a passport - and takes his holidays in Great Yarmouth where he owns a caravan."

And that's not all. Jim goes on: "Keith Floyd's cookery programmes were all done in the same way. Floyd on Africa - that's a laugh - they should have called it Floyd in the BBC Kitchen and Canteen. This is just the tip of the iceberg," he told us.

"The BBC make everything on a shoe-string budget. It's not fair that decent hard-working licence-payers should be treated in this way. I've worked it out on my calculator that they could reduce the cost of a colour licence to less than £10 and still have money in the kitty."

A BBC spokesman declined to comment on Jim's accusations, but his psychiatrist said, "Mr Wriddle has been under a lot of strain just lately."

The story above is a satire or parody. It is entirely fictitious.

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