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BBC 'regrets' King guest slot

BBC NewsWatch 02/08/2005

The BBC has apologised for having Jonathan King as a guest on the Victoria Derbyshire show on Radio 5 Live.

More than 20 listeners contacted the BBC to say King, who was jailed in 2001 for sexually abusing boys, was an inappropriate choice of guest for the show on Tuesday 26 July.

King was an inappropriate guest, the BBC has admitted.

The BBC said they invited King on the show to examine the possibility that his "state of mind was typical of perpetrators of paedophile crimes".

However, it admitted that the programme had made a mistake.

A spokesman said: "Jonathan King's case prompted much interest, because of his own high profile and the nature of his offences.

"It was not our intention to give him a platform to assert his innocence, but to challenge that assertion rigorously and to examine the possibility that his state of mind is typical of perpetrators of paedophile crimes.

"We were robust in challenging his protestations of innocence but - on balance - we probably failed to shed much light on the wider topic.

"We regret this. We also regret the offence caused to some of our listeners by our attempt to use a high-profile case to tackle a very difficult topic."

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