BBC do a "hatchet job" on Ryanair tonight

12 October 2009

Bitterwallet - Ryanair's Michael O'Leary looking concerned, yesterdayBloody hell, Sky+ is ganting at the prospect of this one. Panorama on BBC1 is preparing what Ryanair has already described as a "hatchet job" on the company. In order to head Auntie Beeb off at the pass, the budget airline has released all correspondence with the BBC on the matter, which includes a list of over 20 questions the programme's reporter demanded answers to.

Ryanair PR commander Stephen McNamara accused the BBC of refusing the budget airline an "adequate right of reply", because the BBC wouldn't grant Sky Marshall David O'Leary's request of an interview that was either live or unedited:

“Ryanair calls on the BBC to explain why Panorama refuses to provide balance in its programming and why licence payers are funding such rubbish-filled investigations which don’t stand up to scrutiny.”

But either live or unedited interviews are rare in such programmes, and tantamount to an attempt to control the editorial content, according to the Corporation:

"We do have a statement from Ryanair in the programme and a couple of clips of Mr O’Leary speaking in it. We wanted to interview Michael O’Leary but he wanted editorial control and that is something no broadcaster would agree to. We urge viewers to make their own minds up by watching Panorama on Monday.”

Of course that argument assumes that the BBC's editorial control won't show bias; after all, it's fair to say that Panorama doesn't have a reputation for depicting companies in the best light, and nobody is going to watch a programme that doesn't spread some muck about the airline. Panorama: Why Hate Ryanair? is on BBC1 at 8.30 tonight. Let us know what you think once you've seen it in the comments.

[The Times]

TOPICS:   Travel


  • Alex W.
    Perhaps he was scared his interview would be edited to death, much like Boris's interview with Paxo had all the good stuff cut out of it?
  • Geoff
    Well, much as I loath O’Leary and his rampant self-publicity, I lost any faith in Panorama after that hilarious in-depth wi-fi investigation a couple of years ago:
  • zeddy
    Dispatches should do a report on how fucking shit Panorama is. I bet BBC would squeal like stuck pigs.
  • Pizza_D_Action
    O'Leary is a TWUNT... why would the BBC want viewers slitting their wrists if they had to listen to that idiot blabbing on and not answering any questions...
  • Reg W.
    A lot of the argument seems to be down to semantics. The Ryanair website is known for not being user friendly and is designed to make it harder for the passenger to decline some of the extra charges. For example you have to opt out of some optional extra charges, so if you miss it you pay more. Ryanair carp on about passengers agreeing to the extra charges, but how many actually read all of it or just tick the read and understood box. Some of the other charges by the BBC are rubbish, so Ryanair bargain hard with airlines, airports etc. That is just good business on their part, nothing illegal. Though I did note after reading the correspondence that they never did answer the BBCs question about agency cabin staff getting the £300 uniform fee back if they were still working for the agency, As for not granting Ryanairs big mouthed boss free rain, good for them, as he would just use it as a chance to pursue his own agenda and not to answer the questions raised. Anyone who saw his recent Watchdog performance will know that we would just be treated (sic) to another verbal diatribe in which he would dodge answering any real questions raised in the programme.
  • NobbyB
    It is strange that they allow politicians to do live interviews, where the interviewee refuses to answer any questions and only wants to get their own point across.
  • AndyM
    I'll be watching this and laughing at RyanAir; hateful airline.
  • Dave T.
    Surely everyone already knows what Ryanair are like? This is very lazy BBC journalism. Tell us something we don't already know.
  • MAd
    I just flew Ryan Air for the first time last week, £10 flight each + £10 each for using and sort of payment card that i had in my wallet, but for £20 each was a great deal. checking in on-line was easy. I read the T&C's (like everyone should) and all was fine.
  • Martin
    Looks like they've posed the unedited interview on their website:
  • Martin
    *posted the unedited interview
  • Dave T.
    Ryanair PR commander Stephen McNamara accused the BBC of refusing the budget airline an “adequate right of reply”, because the BBC wouldn’t grant Sky Marshall David O’Leary’s request of an interview that was either live or unedited: What the fuck has David o'leary to do with this - tossers
    • Andy D.
      @Dave T - it's a joke. We don't think his official title is 'Sky Marshall' either now we come to think of it.
  • Robbo
    O'Leray is a jerk and deserves all the lousy publicity he gets
  • Brian
    Hi, Brian here. I going to watch this program now. Wonder if O’Leary’s watching it??
  • david m.
    shame that mr o leary is not in charge at the bbc as well....panorama shame on you....
  • Michael
    @ Robbo - There is no such thing as bad publicity. In fact, working in the Ryanair PR office must be the easiest job in the world, what with the likes of the Daily Heil, Torygraph and various consumer websites (nudge nudge) falling over to publicise your latest press release. As for the Panorama documentary, what a waste of everybody's time that was. "Ryanair subsidises cheap seats with more expensive services" - Kind of how most promotional offers are funded then. "Ryanair charge you £2.50 for a coffee" - That's up there with Starbucks and most motorway services then. "Ryanair makes you pay for a bag" - Yes, and? "Ryanair doesn't give their pilots free water anymore" - And? Cost cutting happens in any line of work (apart from the protective bubble of the public sector of course) "Ryanair do this, Ryanair do that. Oh wasn't it so much better in the old days when a return flight from Manchester to Dublin used to cost £300+?"
  • Daniel
    "Ryanair Caught Napping" is a better show to understand how O'Leary runs the company. Some Ryanair workers posted it on a web site; I think it means that it is a trust worthy testimony

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