Monday, September 18, 2006

BBC staff gets in hot...sand?

There's a video going around of some BBC staff spoofing the Middle East

Seems the BBC has come under fire for allowing its senior journalists to make a spoof video which makes fun of war in the Middle East. The film - based on Peter Kay's (Is this the way to) Amarillo? - was made to mark the departure of a BBC news editor for rival news channel Al-Jazeera.

Renamed (Is this the way to) Al-Jazeera? it features BBC staff singing and dancing in front of images of missiles being fired and tanks rolling across the Arabian desert. It also contains Arab stereotypes and makes joking reference to Osama Bin Laden, the PaIestinian conflict.

The video (click here; may load slow) has been condemned by an Arab rights group as 'insenstive and puerile', as well as being potentially offensive to Muslims.

The three-and-half-minute long video was made for BBC London assistant editor Simon Torkington, who is leaving the Corporation to work for Al-Jazeera International in Qatar, along with his wife, former ITV news anchor Shiulie Ghosh.

The video was shown Mr Torkington's private leaving party last week, but has since been put on the Internet by a BBC insider angry that it was made with licence fee-payer's money.

It features BBC executive Ian Wade in the Peter Kay role, wearing an open necked shirt revealing a luxuriant chest wig and oversized golden medallion. He is joined by around ten BBC staff, some of whom wear Arab-style head-dresses and one of whom wears a false beard. After dancing in front of video footage of the invasion of Iraq, the group are seen inside BBC London's office: messing around on a stairwell and crammed into a lift. One of the reporters even sports a Muslim prayer cap - commonly known as a topi - as he dances around with his shirt off. The lyrics have been reworked. The song now starts: "When the day is dawning. On a muggy old Doha morning. How I long to be there. With Osama who's waiting for me there." And it ends: "Though it may be harder I'll be reporting on the Intifada. Just beyond the sand dunes there's a world so new. Of jilbabs and palm trees. And there's camel poo."

For a British army skit based on the same song, go here.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

HILARIOUSE video, however living in Amarillo, I much prefer the one made from our lovely soldiers. Frankly I dont care who this song pisses off. People need to stop being so incredibly sensitive and enjoy the humor in this world.