New Zealand Herald – New Zealand
The BBC gaff his hit the headlines what next for the “IT expert” Guy Goma..'”. PR expert Mark Borkowski agreed: “In terms of the amount of publicity anybody needs to launch themselves, he’s got it all. “I.
Accidental BBC interviewee could have lucrative future
11.20am Wednesday May 17, 2006
By Ciar Byrne
It will go down as one of the classic television gaffes of all time, but the BBC News 24 mix-up which led to a job applicant being interviewed in place of an IT expert could prove the making of Guy Goma.
Public relations experts have predicted that Mr Goma, 37, a university graduate from the Congo, could carve a lucrative television career after being mistakenly interviewed live on air about the legal battle over the Apple logo, when he had turned up for a job interview.
As he returned to the rolling news channel to talk about his experience yesterday, this time as an officially invited interviewee, PR consultant Max Clifford said Mr Goma could earn as much as £250,000 from his new found fame.
“If he got himself a good agent then he could certainly have a good couple of months. If someone was creative it could turn into a quarter of a million pounds this year,” said Mr Clifford.
He added: “Major Charles Ingram is still doing something two years after he cheated on Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? The fact you have no talent these days is probably a plus.
“If the agent was clever, they would get him advertising sponsorship. He could be on a series of ads saying ‘This is the best, but what do I know, I’m only here to read the meter.'”
PR expert Mark Borkowski agreed: “In terms of the amount of publicity anybody needs to launch themselves, he’s got it all.
“I don’t think he’s got a legitimate media career, but if the guy from the Halifax can make it, he can. It depends on whether he has a sense of humour.
“There’s a huge opportunity. Everybody knows who he is. He would certainly have a place on things like (UK gameshow) Have I Got News For You. He needs a good manager. I wouldn’t be surprised if he popped up on Celebrity Big Brother,” Mr Borkowski added.
French-speaking Mr Goma, who has a Masters degree in economics and taught himself English, turned up at BBC headquarters for an interview for the position of IT assistant.
While sitting in the reception, he was mistaken by a News 24 intern for IT expert Guy Kewney, founder of technology website newswireless.net, who had been invited in to discuss the legal battle between Apple Computer and Apple Corp.
He was whisked off to have his face powdered, before being interviewed live by consumer affairs correspondent, Karen Bowerman, who soon realised the error.
Mr Goma, who said he was “traumatised” by the experience, told News 24 yesterday: “I was very shocked. When I was on the set already, I couldn’t stop. I said, ‘Keep going’.”
“When I came to studio, I thought it was for the job interview. As soon as I realised it was online I said, ‘Ok, I need to change my mind.”
Asked what he would say to the man he replaced, Mr Goma said: “I just want to say I’m sorry.”
He added that he had not yet heard the outcome of his job interview, but said: ” I really want to work for the BBC, because I so like this company.”
News 24 presenter Simon McCoy apologised to Mr Goma, Mr Kewney and viewers.
“These things are not meant to happen, it was a mistake, a one-off here at News 24 which has provided some entertainment,” he said.
The clip of Ms Bowerman interviewing Mr Goma has spread like wildfire on the internet.
Media outlets around the world quickly picked up on the tale, which was reported by Canada’s Globe & Mail, the Calcutta Telegraph in India and Australian website Crikey, amongst others.