BBC forced to apologise after Sally Nugent’s war comment

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The BBC has apologised after BBC Breakfast host Sally Nugent seemed to criticise the historic Damnbusters Raid.

Back in May, Sally described the Damnbusters Raid as “infamous” which sparked a huge backlash.

As she reported on a flypast happening to mark the anniversary in May, Sally stated: “Eighty years after 19 Lancaster bombers took part in the infamous Dambusters Raid, tonight a special anniversary flypast will take place over Lincolnshire.”

However, the broadcaster has since been forced to issue a statement apologising for the blunder.

The statement reads: “When highlighting what was coming up on the programme, we did inadvertently refer to the Damnbusters Raid as ‘infamous’.

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“Later, when the main item aired, we referred to the ‘famous’ raid.

“In live programmes, such as Breakfast, errors do occasionally slip through, and we’re sorry for this mistake, and any offence caused.”

The wording was also acknowledged by the BBC’s Executive Complaints Unit.

A Spokesperson wrote: “Two viewers complained about the use of word “infamous” to describe the Dambusters Raid during World War II.

“The ECU assessed the complaint against the standards for due accuracy and impartiality set out in the BBC Editorial Guidelines.

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“The ECU agreed the original broadcast was not duly accurate.

“Though the raid is not without its critics, the use of the word “infamous,” with its strongly negative connotations, was not appropriate.

“But the ECU found no evidence the phrase was deliberately chosen for its adverse implications, rather than being used inadvertently, or that it reflected the presenter’s personal view.

“There was therefore no breach of the Guidelines on impartiality.”

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Taking to social media, viewers at the time fumed about the comment.

Twitter user @EnglandIsGone wrote: “@sallynugent I don’t watch @BBCNews& learned of your disgraceful comment elsewhere. What were you thinking by describing #dambusters80 as an infamous raid? Shame on you & @bbcfor doing that. #BBCBreakfast.”

@FrogOnASwing added: “Did I just hear right? “Infamous” dambuster raids? #BBCBreakfast.”

“BBC Breakfast called Dambusters raid “infamous” in May 16th 2023,” @welshman8282 shared.

@Sneekyhen2 responded: “@BBCNews APOLOGISE!!!”

@PadihamSatirist fumed: “Infamous Dambusters!!! Appalling disrespect to our war heroes by a @bbc presenter. Why do they constantly appear to dislike and disrespect our country?”

@Covbluenose penned: “Apparently the Dambuster raids were “infamous”!” (sic)

BBC Breakfast airs daily from 6am on BBC One.

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