The BBC has had to make an embarrassing U-turn after it
transpired that a Satnav voiced by Top Gear’s Jeremy Clarkson breached its own
Last month it was revealed that Clarkson would become the
latest celebrity to voice TomTom’s range of navigation devices. About 54,000 of
the TomTom Go Live Top Gear edition satnavs had been manufactured prior to the
problem being noticed.
The BBC’s commercial arm, BBC Worldwide, has decided that in
order to sidestep the rules, all money it would have made from the sale of the 54,000 devices
will go to Children in Need, which each device costs £189.
The rule which was breached states that BBC presenters
cannot endorse any product or service that could be covered in the programme
on which they work.
A BBC Worldwide spokesman told the Guardian that by the time the problem was identified: “Launch plans were too advanced to prevent the physical product
going on sale in retail outlets.”
The spokesman added: “In order to avoid any perception of a conflict of
interest in the minds of viewers, BBC Worldwide and TomTom have agreed that all
monies that would have been due to BBC Worldwide will be paid to BBC Children
in Need, together with an additional charitable donation by TomTom.”
Clarkson will not benefit financially from the sale of the
devices and plans to offer his voice as an upgrade pack to older models have been
Among the pearls of wisdom users won’t now be hearing
(unless you’re one of the lucky 54,000 of course) are:
Keep left – if you’re not sure which side left is you
really shouldn’t be on the road.
After 700 yards, assuming this car can make it that far,
you have reached your destination, with the aid of 32 satellites and me – well
Oh well, we’ll just have to stick with good old Brian