The Accidental Pundit:

The Daily Mail (U.K.) reports:

He is the BBC's latest star - the cab driver who a leading presenter believed was a world expert on the internet music business.

The man stepped unwittingly into the national spotlight when he was interviewed by mistake on the corporation's News 24 channel.

With the seconds ticking down to a studio discussion about a court case involving Apple Computer and The Beatles' record label, a floor manager had run to reception and grabbed the man, thinking he was Guy Kewney, editor of, a specialist internet publication.

Actually, he was a minicab driver who had been waiting to drive Mr Kewney home.

Baffled, but compliant, the driver was fitted with a microphone and allowed himself to be marched in to the studio. Cameras rolled, and he was quizzed live on air by consumer affairs correspondent Karen Bowerman -- who missed the cabbie's panic-stricken expression when he realised he was being interviewed....

For more, and for the link to the video, see here.

Thanks to reader Patrick Anders for the pointer.

logicnazi (mail) (www):
I saw this a bit ago and I wasn't able to tell if the cab driver was being delibrately deceptive or was just confused until he got on camera. Anyone know?
5.14.2006 4:55pm
reneviht (mail) (www):

Are you suprised to see the verdict?

I'm suprised to see the verdict come down on me.

I think he was suprised - the expression on his face when being introduced was hilarious if you knew what was going on - and just played along to avoid embarassing himself and the BBC. Still, I'm a bad judge of people.

I assume several people can point to people making jokes along the line that "This isn't the first time this happened; in 19XX, the (Democrats/Republicans) accidentally grabbed (name of umpopular president) as their candidate..."
5.14.2006 5:16pm
The best thing about this was that the guy was about as informative as the rent-a-pundits you usually see on the news.
5.14.2006 6:11pm
wt (mail) (www):
No, the best thing was that the next correspondent, the one with the umbrella in the rain, cites the cabbie as an authority that it was indeed a surprise verdict: "Well, I think we just heard about that."
5.14.2006 6:22pm
Michael B (mail):
Peter Sellers, Being There. Still, the question remains, is this BBC example one which demonstrates the exception or the rule?
5.14.2006 6:58pm
Michael B (mail):
Ironically but unsurprisingly, to demonstrate the aptness of the above, metaphorical question: Steyn in The Chicago Sun-Times, excerpt:

So there are now two basic templates in terrorism media coverage:

Template A (note to editors: to be used after every terrorist atrocity): "Angry family members, experts and opposition politicians demand to know why complacent government didn't connect the dots."

Template B (note to editors: to be used in the run-up to the next terrorist atrocity): "Shocking new report leaked to New York Times for Pulitzer Prize Leak Of The Year Award nomination reveals that paranoid government officials are trying to connect the dots! See pages 3,4,6,7,8, 13-37."


I'm a strong believer in privacy rights. I don't see why Americans are obligated to give the government their bank account details and the holdings therein. Other revenue agencies in other free societies don't require that level of disclosure.

h/t A/F
5.14.2006 7:21pm
tefta (mail):
I thought of Peter Sellers too, except that he didn't know what was going on. The cab driver was a natural. He had the concerned and caring look crucial to leftie pundits. I predict he'll be doing financial analysis on BBC in the very near future.
5.14.2006 10:22pm
Brian G (mail) (www):
He was more interesting than Olbermann and Cooper. CNN and MSNBC should start a bidding war for the guy.
5.14.2006 11:39pm
Joe Henchman (mail):
Karen Bowerman: Guy Kewney is editor of the technology website Newswireless.

Face of horror

KB: Hello, good morning to you.

Taxi driver: Good morning.

KB: Were you surprised by this verdict today.

Taxi driver: I am very surprised to see... this verdict to come on me because I was not expecting that. When I came they told me somehting else and I am coming. So a big surprise anyway.

KB: A big surprise, yeah, yes.

Taxi driver: Exactly.

KB: With regards to the costs involved do you think now more people will be downloading online?

Taxi driver: Actually If you can walk everywhere yoy are going to see a lot of people downloading the internet and the website and everything they want. But I think eh It is much better for development and eh to inform people what they want and to get the easy way and so faster if they are looking for.

KB: It does really seem the way the music industry's progressing now that people want to go onto the website and download music.

Taxi driver: Exactly you can go everywhere on the cyber cafe and you can take, you can go easy. It is going to be an easy way for everyone to get something to the internet

KB: Thank you. Thanks very much indeed.
5.15.2006 11:16am
Bill_C (mail):
Fortunately, I'm not seeing a lot of people making fun of Goma.

He pretty much handled himself very well! He did no worse than we'd expect anyone (expert or not) who gets grabbed from a group of people and tossed before of a camera by a scene reporter just to create the interviewer's desired soundbyte.

The only fault would be the double-take at start of the video (and who could blame him!) and even then he has the class to straighten up as the reporter turns to him and do a professional interview.
5.15.2006 5:31pm
Underblog (mail) (www):
Turns out the guy wasn't a cab driver at all, but Guy Goma, who was at the BBC for a job interview.
5.16.2006 4:28am