Boxing champion has to reassure friends he is still alive

Boxing champion has to reassure friends he is still alive after blundering BBC includes his picture in roll call of people killed by coronavirus

  • Rhys McCole took to social media last night to confirm he was still alive and well 
  • BBC Scotland had mistakenly included his picture in montage of Covid-19 deaths
  • Broadcaster apologised for blunder it said was a ‘genuine production mistake’
  • Here’s how to help people impacted by Covid-19

A champion British boxer had to reassure friends he is still ‘alive and well’ after the BBC mistakenly included his picture in a roll call of people killed by coronavirus.

Rhys McCole, from Greenock, took to social media last night to confirm he was still alive after the broadcaster falsely reported on his death.

His photograph had been included in a montage of those who have recently passed away during Reporting Scotland’s segment on Covid-19.

Mr McCole said on Twitter: ‘Thanks to everyone for their messages. Despite @BBCScotlandNews reporting and putting a picture of me on television saying that I have died of Covid-19 I am actually ALIVE and well. 

Rhys McCole (pictured), from Greenock, took to social media last night to confirm he was still alive after BBC Scotland falsely reported on his death

His photograph had been included in a graphic reporting those who have recently passed away due to the virus, which has infected more than 202,359 people in the UK (Mr McCole seen bottom, second from left)

‘My thoughts go to all those that have lost loved ones.’ 

Howard Simpson, News Editor and Editor of Newsgathering at BBC Scotland, later apologised to Mr McCole for the error, insisting it was a ‘genuine production mistake.’

In an email posted to Twitter by the boxer, he said: ‘I wanted to email you to apologise for an error in our output.

‘As you are acutely aware, we included a picture of you in a graphic last night in our report on Covid-19. I’m afraid this was a genuine production mistake – and as soon as it was noticed we replaced it.

 

Howard Simpson, News Editor and Editor of Newsgathering at BBC Scotland, later got in touch with Mr McCole to apologise for the error, insisting it was a ‘genuine production mistake’

‘On behalf of BBC Scotland News I can only apologise for the hurt this may have caused you and your family.

‘Be assured we take accuracy very seriously and we have reinforced our process to ensure this.’

Mr McCole, who is a three-times Scottish Boxing National Champion, told his followers to ‘make up your own mind about the reply’ when he posted it online.

He said: ‘So @BBCScotlandNews @BBCBreaking have been in contact. Just want to THANK everyone that helped and assisted me in this matter.

‘I appreciate you all. Make your own mind up about the reply.  Anyway, look after each other and stay well.’  

The boxer received dozens of messages after he mistakenly appeared on Reporting Scotland last night, with social media users urging the BBC to apologise for the blunder.

The boxer received dozens of messages after he mistakenly appeared on Reporting Scotland last night, with social media users urging the BBC to apologise for the blunder

Lindsay Graham said: ‘Inexcusable! Sort it out BBC and apologise quick smart.’ 

‘This is terrible! Do something about it @BBCScotlandNews,’ added Ben White. 

A BBC Scotland spokesman told MailOnline: ‘This was a production mistake and we apologise for the error. The graphic was replaced when it was noticed and we have apologised directly to Rhys.’ 

The blunder comes as Nicola Sturgeon today laid into Boris Johnson over plans to ease lockdown – warning that ditching ‘stay at home’ guidance at this point would be ‘catastrophic’.

The First Minister insisted there can be no loosening at all for at least another week, and suggested measures will be largely unchanged in Scotland for the rest of the month.  

The PM is expected to set out the next phase of the response to the crisis in an address to the nation on Sunday night. He said yesterday that ‘easements’ will be outlined to the restrictions. 

Downing Street played down the extent of the changes this afternoon, saying Mr Johnson told the Cabinet there would be ‘maximum caution’. 

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