BBC cleared in wed­ding-snaps row

The Jewish Chronicle - - News - BY SI­MON ROCKER

OF­COM, THE broad­cast­ing watch­dog, has re­jected a com­plaint of un­fair­ness made against the BBC by a pair of Sal­ford wed­ding pho­tog­ra­phers.

Hi­lary and Gary Se­gal had protested about sto­ries fea­tur­ing dis­sat­is­fied cus­tomers on the lo­cal news pro­gramme North West Tonight shown on April 3 and 11 last year.

A num­ber of brides had com­plained that they had not re­ceived the album of wed­ding pho­to­graphs they had or­dered from the Se­gals, own­ers of the Se­gal Stu­dio and Mem­o­ries in the Mak­ing.

Some of the clients had re­ceived only prints and neg­a­tives, while oth­ers had got noth­ing at all. Amanda Hat­ton, one in­ter­vie­wee, told the BBC: “It’s cost the fam­ily in to­tal around £1,000 and we don’t have any­thing to show for it, apart from a lot of bad mem­o­ries.”

The Se­gals lodged com­plaints with Of­com on var­i­ous grounds, in­clud­ing that the al­le­ga­tions were un­true and they had not been given ap­pro­pri­ate time to re­spond.

Ac­cord­ing to Of­com, they “in­formed the pro­gramme mak­ers that it was Passover from April 2 to 10 and that, as they were Jewish and this was an im­por­tant fes­ti­val, it was dif­fi­cult for them to re­spond in the timescale pro­vided”.

But this week, Of­com said that the cou­ple had not been un­fairly treated.

“The in­for­ma­tion pro­vided by Mr and Mrs Se­gal to the BBC did not pro­vide ev­i­dence that the clients had re­ceived their al­bums or other pic­tures as or­dered, de­spite the pro­gramme mak­ers ask­ing for such a num­ber of times. Nor did the in­for­ma­tion pro­vided give any rea­sons for this.”

It also noted that they had been con­tacted by the BBC at least three work­ing days be­fore Pe­sach; and in the case of the sec­ond pro­gramme, “there were sub­stan­tial pe­ri­ods prior to the broad­cast when Mr and Mrs Se­gal could have re­sponded with­out im­ping­ing on their ob­ser­vance of Passover”.

The BBC had orig­i­nally planned to broad­cast the sec­ond story on April 10 but “de­layed that un­til April 11 in or­der to avoid a broad­cast dur­ing Passover”.

The num­ber listed on web­sites for the Se­gal Stu­dio — and the same num­ber for a ser­vice called “Hi­lary’s Stu­dio”— was un­ob­tain­able this week.

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