This entry was posted on Wednesday, August 15th, 2007 at 6:16 pm and is filed under Bicycle advocacy, Celebs on bikes, Weird stuff. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.
In June, Blue Peter presenter Konnie Huq was hugged by London mayor Ken Livingstone at a Transport for London promo event for the London Freewheel ride. However, The Times – and much of the British media – is reporting that a Conservative politico whined to the BBC about Huq being wheeled on at the pro-cycling event.
Quickrelease.tv reported on the event at the time, not realising a big red storm was brewing. There was, however, a giant red fixie at the event. Bigger pic of it, and Huq’n'Ken, here.
The Hovis London Freewheel is taking place on Sunday September 23rd. Ms Huq was the first person to sign up for the ride.
“I bike into the TV centre from Ealing which I’m proud of,” she said at the launch.
But now The Times is reporting that her presence with ‘Red Ken’ was “sharing a platform with him” and that the BBC had warned Huq to steer clear. She had therefore “threatened the impartiality of the BBC,” said The Times.
Mark Byford, the BBC Deputy Director-General, has apologised to the Tory complainant, Brian Coleman, the deputy chairman of the London Assembly.
Livingstone is accused of using the Freewheel launch to poke holes in London Conservative’s “pro-car” policies.
Mr Coleman said: “The launch became a political rant. It is unforgivable for the BBC to allow the Blue Peter name to be lent to a political event.”
In a letter to Mr Coleman, Mr Byford agreed: “It was felt that the BBC and the programme should not be linked with anything that might be construed as campaigning, and that this campaign potentially fell into that bracket.”
Huq’s agent , Jonathan Shalit, said: “This was an entirely non-political event about helping to get Londoners cycling, and that is why I recommended that Konnie take part.”
It’s believed Ms Huq has now had to withdraw her support from the nine-mile family bike ride.