BBC apologises after Oscar Pistorius trailer fails to name murdered girlfriend

The BBC has apologised after a trailer for a new documentary about Oscar Pistorius failed to refer to his murdered girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp by name.

The runner – a double amputee who competed in both the Olympics and Paralympics – had been hailed as an inspirational figure for overcoming his disability.

But he was later jailed for the murder of Ms Steenkamp in the early hours of Valentine's Day 2013, and the trial of the South African athlete became a global media sensation.

The BBC said it had removed the offending trailer, which referred to Ms Steenkamp as "his girlfriend" or "she", prompting criticism online.

A statement from the broadcaster said: "We regret that the original trail did not refer to Reeva Steenkamp directly.

"We are aware of the upset it has caused, which was never the intention. We have removed the trail and it will be replaced by something more representative of the series, which examines in detail a number of complex issues connected with her murder."

Four-part series The Trials Of Oscar Pistorius will be available on BBC iPlayer next month before airing on BBC Two at a later date.

The series features interviews with people close to his story and looks back on his journey to becoming an international athletics star before his arrest.

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South Africa's Oscar Pistorius (centre) stands with some of the world's top Paralympians who are all wearing running blades during a photocall at Tower Bridge, London.
Oscar Pistorius during the photocall at the Olympic Park in London.
(l-r) Switzerland's Christophe Bausch celebrates Bronze, South Africa's Oscar Pistorius celebrates Gold and Great Britain and Northern Ireland's Ian Jonce celebrates Silver in the T44 - 200 Metres
South Africa's Oscar Pistorius with his gold medal from the T44 100m
BT Ambassador Great Britain's Chris Hoy (left) with South Africa's Oscar Pistorius and Great Britain's Natalie Jones, Joe Bestwick and Jody Cundy (left to right) during the BT Paralympic World Cup Preview Day at the Manchester Regional Arena, Manchester
South Africa's Oscar Pistorius during the Paralympic World Cup in Manchester.
South Africa's Oscar Pistorius (centre) and USA's Blake Leeper (left) and David Prince during the Men's T44 100m during the Paralympic World Cup in Manchester.
South Africa's Oscar Pistorius celebrates with his Gold medal after winning the Men's T44 100m during the Paralympic World Cup in Manchester.
Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron (front row centre) poses for a photograph with sports personalities (back row left-right) Sean Fitzpatrick, Gary Player, Nadia Comaneci, Novak Djokovic, Boris Becker, Oscar Pistorius, Steve Regrave, Mark Spitz, (front row left-right) Kelly Holmes, Tanni Grey-Thompson, David Cameron, Edwin Moses and Martina Navratilova, during a reception for the 2012 Laureus Awards in 10 Downing Street, central London.
Oscar Pistorius the winner of the Laureus World Sportsperson of the Year with a Disability during 2012 Laureus World Sports Awards, at Central Hall Westminster, Storey's Gate, London.
(left-right) Germany's Edina Muller, Great Britain's Dan Greaves, South Afterica's Oscar Pistorius and USA's Nathan Stephens during a photocall at the Etihad Stadium, Manchester.
South Africa's Oscar Pistorius in the Men's 400m Heats during day eight of the London Olympic Games at the Olympic Stadium,, London.
05 August 2012 - London, Britain - Oscar Pistorius of South Africa takes part in men's 400m semifinal contest, at London 2012 Olympic Games in London, Britain, on August 5, 2012. Oscar Pistorius of South Africa failed to make it to the finals. Photo Credit: Liao Yujie/Xinhua/Sipa USA
(left-right) Silver medalist South Africa's Oscar Pistorius, Gold medalist Brazil's Alan Fonteles Cardoso Oliveira and Bronze medalist USA's Blake Leeper celebrate with their medals after competing in the Men's 200m - T44 at the Olympic Stadium, London.
South Africa's Oscar Pistorius wins the Men's 400m T44 final at the Olympic Stadium, London.
South Africa's Oscar Pistorius observes his national anthem on the big screen after receiving his Gold medal for the Men's 400m - T44 in the Olympic Stadium, Olympic Park, during the Paralympic Games in London.
South Africa's Oscar Pistorius celebrates with his gold medal after winning the Men's 400m T44 at the Olympic Stadium, London.
BT London Live welcomed paralympian Oscar Pistorius to Trafalgar Square. South African Oscar Pistorius provided a fitting finale to the Paralympics track and field competition last night, taking home the gold in the T44 400m
Oscar Pistorius who is nicknamed "Blade Runner" receives an honorary degree from the University of Strathclyde, at the Barony Hall in Glasgow, Scotland.
Paralympic Athlete Oscar Pistorius leaves the Boshkop Police Station following his arrest for allegedly shooting and killing his girlfriend.
*Exclusive* The home of Paralympic athlete Oscar Pistorius where he allegedly shot his girlfriend. Police lines were still visible late in the afternoon.
South African Paralympian athlete Oscar Pistorius reacts as he leaves the High Court in Pretoria, on July 6, 2016 after being sentenced to six years in jail for murdering his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp three years ago. High Court judge Thokozile Masipa listed several mitigating factors for sentencing Pistorius to less than half the minimum 15-year term for murder, including the athlete's claim he believed he was shooting an intruder. Oscar Pistorius will not appeal against his six-year jail term. / AFP PHOTO / POOL / MARCO LONGARI (Photo by Xinhua/Sipa USA)
Paralympian athlete Oscar Pistorius (L), accused of the murder of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp three years ago, looks on during the hearing in his murder trail at the High Court in Pretoria, on July 6, 2016. Paralympian Oscar Pistorius will learn on July 6 how long he will spend in jail when a judge sentences him for murdering his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp three years ago. Pistorius was freed from prison in the South African capital Pretoria last October after serving one year of a five-year term for culpable homicide -- the equivalent of manslaughter. / AFP PHOTO / POOL / MARCO LONGARI (Photo by Xinhua/Sipa USA)
Paralympic gold medalist Oscar Pistorius walks across the courtroom without his prosthetic legs during the third day of the resentencing hearing for the 2013 murder of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp, at Pretoria High Court, South Africa June 15, 2016. REUTERS/Siphiwe Sibeko/Files TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
Olympic and Paralympic track star Oscar Pistorius stands beside his sister Aimee during court proceedings at the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria March 19, 2014. Pistorius is on trial for murdering his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp at his suburban Pretoria home on Valentine's Day last year. REUTERS/Leon Sadiki/Pool (SOUTH AFRICA - Tags: SPORT CRIME LAW ATHLETICS)
Olympic and Paralympic track star Oscar Pistorius (L) cries as he chats to his lawyer Barry Roux during his trial for the murder of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp, at the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria March 10, 2014. Pistorius is on trial for murdering his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp at his suburban Pretoria home on Valentine's Day last year. He says he mistook her for an intruder. REUTERS/Siphiwe Sibeko (SOUTH AFRICA - Tags: CRIME LAW SPORT ATHLETICS)
Olympic and Paralympic track star Oscar Pistorius (C) arrives at court ahead of the fifth day of his trial for the murder of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp at the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria, March 7, 2014. REUTERS/Siphiwe Sibeko (SOUTH AFRICA - Tags: CRIME LAW SPORT ATHLETICS)
Olympic and Paralympic track star Oscar Pistorius reacts as Judge Thokozile Masipa (unseen) delivers her verdict at the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria September 12, 2014. Pistorius was convicted of culpable homicide on Friday, escaping the more serious charge of murder for the killing of his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp, and will now battle to avoid going to prison. REUTERS/Alon Skuy/Pool (SOUTH AFRICA - Tags: SPORT ATHLETICS ENTERTAINMENT CRIME LAW TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY)
A man holds placards ahead of the court proceedings of Olympic and Paralympic athlete Oscar Pistorius at the Pretoria Magistrates court August 19, 2013. Pistorius, accused of murdering his model girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp, prayed and wiped away tears during the court hearing on Monday which set a March 3, 2014 start date for his trial. REUTERS/Siphiwe Sibeko (SOUTH AFRICA - Tags: CRIME LAW SPORT ATHLETICS)
Olympic and Paralympic track star Oscar Pistorius (C) leaves after his trial at the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria March 4, 2014. Pistorius is on trial for murdering his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp at his suburban Pretoria home on Valentine's Day last year. He says he mistook her for an intruder. REUTERS/Siphiwe Sibeko (SOUTH AFRICA - Tags: SPORT ATHLETICS CRIME LAW)
Olympic and Paralympic track star Oscar Pistorius sits in the dock on the third day of his trial for the murder of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp at the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria, March 5, 2014.REUTERS/Alon Skuy/Pool (SOUTH AFRICA - Tags: SPORT ATHLETICS CRIME LAW)
Olympic and Paralympic track star Oscar Pistorius puts his hands over his head, in the dock during his trial for the murder of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp, at the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria, March 10, 2014. Pistorius is on trial for murdering Steenkamp at his suburban Pretoria home on Valentine's Day last year. He says he mistook her for an intruder. REUTERS/Siphiwe Sibeko (SOUTH AFRICA - Tags: CRIME LAW SPORT ENTERTAINMENT ATHLETICS TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY)
Barry Steenkamp, father of Reeva Steenkamp, is consoled by his wife June Steenkamp during the sentencing hearing of Olympic and Paralympic track star Oscar Pistorius at the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria October 15, 2014. The 27-year-old Pistorius, whose lower legs were amputated as a baby, was convicted of culpable homicide last month for the shooting of 29-year-old law graduate and model Reeva Steenkamp on Valentine's Day 2013. REUTERS/Antoine de Ras/Pool (SOUTH AFRICA - Tags: SPORT ATHLETICS CRIME LAW)
FILE - This Nov. 4, 2012 file photo shows Oscar Pistorius and Reeva Steenkamp at an awards ceremony in Johannesburg, South Africa. Far from the courtroom drama that has gripped South Africa, the family of Pistorius' slain girlfriend, Steenkamp, has struggled with its own private deluge of grief, frustration and bewilderment. The victim's relatives also harbor misgivings about efforts by the Olympian's family to reach out to them with condolences. Pistorius, meanwhile, spent Saturday, Feb. 23, 2013 at his uncle's home in an affluent suburb of Pretoria, the South African capital, after a judge released him on bail. (AP Photo/City Press, Lucky Nxumalo) SOUTH AFRICA OUT
A woman holds a photo of Reeva Steenkamp, as she leaves her funeral, in Port Elizabeth, South Africa, Tuesday, Feb. 19, 2013. Olympic athlete Oscar Pistorius is charged with the premeditated murder of Reeva Steenkamp on Valentine's Day. The defense lawyer says it was an accidental shooting. (AP Photo/Schalk van Zuydam)
Police crime scene tape marks off the home of South African "Blade Runner" Oscar Pistorius in Pretoria February 14, 2013. Pistorius, a double amputee who became one of the biggest names in world athletics, was charged on Thursday with shooting dead his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp at his home. REUTERS/Andrea Ettwein (SOUTH AFRICA - Tags: CRIME LAW SPORT ATHLETICS)
A man walks past posters of newspapers with a headline that refers to South African "Blade Runner" Oscar Pistorius at a newspaper stall outside court in Pretoria February 15, 2013. Pistorius, a double amputee who became one of the biggest names in world athletics, broke down in tears on Friday after he was charged in court with shooting dead his girlfriend, model Reeva Steenkamp, in his Pretoria house. REUTERS/Siphiwe Sibeko (SOUTH AFRICA - Tags: CRIME LAW SPORT ATHLETICS OLYMPICS)
Women protest outside the Pretoria Magistrates court, during the bail application hearing of South African athlete Oscar Pistorius, February 19, 2013. Pistorius, a double amputee who became one of the biggest names in world athletics, was applying for bail after being charged in court with shooting dead his girlfriend, model Reeva Steenkamp, in his Pretoria house. REUTERS/Mike Hutchings (SOUTH AFRICA - Tags: CRIME LAW SPORT ATHLETICS)
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Daniel Gordon, who directed the documentary, said: "The story of Oscar Pistorius is remarkable in its complexity.

"It's at once inspirational and harrowing, and provides a lens of insight into a breadth of issues – from gender-based violence to disability rights, racial inequality and media frenzy.

"My hope is that the film gives audiences context and layers to a story they think they know."

Dan McGolpin, controller of BBC iPlayer, said: "This incredible documentary series provides new perspectives on the terrible events of Valentine's Day 2013, giving us a deeper and closer look at one of the world's most remarkable sporting figures, on the South Africa that he grew up in and the media circus that surrounded his trial for the murder of girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp."

The Trials Of Oscar Pistorius will arrive on BBC iPlayer on November 7.

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