BBC staff forced to retrain after 'faking' nature shows

"Senior editorial staff would not be allowed to start work on a production unless they had completed the course"

Updated: 


Staff at the BBC Natural History Unit will have to complete training before they are allowed to work on nature documentaries after scenes in BBC2 series Patagonia: Earth's Secret Paradise were faked.

A scene showing lightning over a volcano eruption was created by splicing footage of two different eruptions together.

It emerged later that the clip used a volcano eruption from 2011 in the 2015 show.

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The BBC Trust said the sequence was "potentially misleading".

In a summary of its findings, it added: "They considered this was a serious breach of the editorial guidelines for accuracy."

According to the Daily Telegraph, the trustees agreed that the anti-fakery course "would be reviewed and updated".

They said: "Senior editorial staff would not be allowed to start work on a production unless they had completed the course; there would be a formal check at the start-up meeting of each production to ensure the relevant training had been completed."

Series producer Tuppence Stone said in a blog post that volcano eruptions are difficult to capture on camera and "it requires special techniques to reveal and portray their true extraordinary nature".

Ms Stone had not been on the BBC's training course which was introduced in 2013 following previous fakery.

In 2011, David Attenborough documentary Frozen Planet was criticised for leading viewers to believe footage of a polar bear cub being born was filmed in the Arctic when it was captured in a German animal park.

The BBC responded to this and said: "This particular sequence would be impossible to film in the wild."

"The commentary accompanying the sequence is carefully worded so it doesn't mislead the audience and the way the footage was captured is clearly explained on the programme website."

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