BBC News Chief James Harding Calls Inverdale's 'Looker' Comments 'Wrong'
Incoming BBC head of news and current affairs James Harding said that broadcaster John Inverdale's comments about Wimbledon champion Marion Bartoli's personal appearance "were wrong," according to Lisa O'Carroll of the London GUARDIAN. Harding said that "Inverdale had to take ownership of what he said and apologise." Harding was asked at a Women in Journalism event at London's South Bank Centre on Monday whether this "'casual sexism' warranted the sack just as Sky Sports presenter Andy Gray was fired over a sexism row in 2011." Harding: "I think he said the wrong thing ... You have got to own your mistakes and apologize for them. I do think it's important that an apology too is an important thing and if you are talking about sacking someone, [you have to ask] is it proportionate. As a license fee payer I think it was wrong" (GUARDIAN, 7/9). ADWEEK's Mike Shields reported the BBC's "most popular Wimbledon video to date" was a clip of player Kirsten Flipkens "stopping during one of her matches to complain about the noise a BBC reporter was making." The clip was "viewed over 400,000 times in the U.K." The second most popular Wimbledon clip, which was "streamed over 200,000 times, featured the Duchess of Cornwall leaving" ESPN's John McEnroe "hanging as he attempted a handshake." Footage of Murray’s win over Djokovic was "in third place" as of Sunday "with 175,000 views." Shields noted it is "certainly possible that these numbers can change as more Britons look to relive Murray's long-awaited win" (ADWEEK, 7/8).