Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 21 October 2014

Row as daughter of BBC boss wins Blue Peter competition

The BBC was last night at the centre of a new conflict of interests row after it emerged that the winner of a Blue Peter competition to design a coin for the 2012 Olympics is the daughter of a corporation boss.

Incoming BBC Natural History Unit (NHU) boss Andrew Jackson has come under fire after his nine-year old daughter Florence Jackson beat more than 17,000 entrants in the contest.

The BBC has robustly defended the win. It said the Blue Peter team did not know about the family link until last week.

“We strongly refute any allegations of wrongdoing. The judging panel was not given any indication of the name, sex or age of any of the entrants. Their decision was based purely on the design of the coin,” a spokeswoman said.

“Any suggestion that anyone at the BBC could have had undue influence on the selection of the winning entry is totally wrong and without any foundation whatsoever. The competition closed in March, before any discussions between the NHU and Jackson. The eventual winner was selected as a finalist in May. Andrew is due to start at the NHU at the end of October.”

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