BBC brings back phone-in charges

January 2, 2008 by  
Filed under News

The BBC is planning to reintroduce phone-charges, but cap them at 15p per call.

Premium phone lines were banned at the broadcaster following a series of high-profile incidents. These included fake competition winners on children’s TV show Blue Peter and invitations to call a pre-recorded version of Saturday Kitchen that was presented as a live event.

The Blue Peter incident resulted in the BBC being fined £50,000 for “fakery” by Ofcom – the industry regulator.

In addition to reintroducing the cap on calls, the BBC has also introduced a new code of conduct.

Speaking to the Guardian, director Mark Thompson said: “BBC programmes do not make money from premium rate calls and we’ve always told viewers and listeners the costs of calling to enter competitions or to vote. But I want this to be even clearer.”

Other non-BBC programmes have been accused of faking elements of call ins – these include Richard and Judy’s You Say We Pay Quiz and I’m a Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here.

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