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BBC identity mix-up part II: Accidental 2006 IT expert says he will sue for royalties

Guy Goma, BBC/YouTube

It’s been a bad couple of days for mistaken identity at the BBC.

First, a news report centred on scandal-hit Spanish FA chief Luis Rubiales accidentally featured footage of former Manchester City defender Pablo Zabaleta. Zabaleta is a former player who does bear a striking similarity to Rubiales, and like him is both follicly challenged and a native Spanish speaker. Unlike Rubiales, however, Zabaleta definitely does not stand accused of the possible sexual assault of one of his country’s World Cup-winning women’s team.

Now, a man who became a viral hit after being accidentally interviewed on BBC News in a 2006 case of mistaken identity has said he plans to sue the broadcaster for a share of the royalties.

Guy Goma, then an unemployed computer technician, went to the BBC for a job interview in 2006. The confusion presumably centred around him introducing himself with words to the effect of: “I’m Guy. I’m here for the IT interview.”

This led to him being mistaken for IT and computing expert, long-time PC World Magazine columnist and editor Guy Kewney, who was himself due to be interviewed about the ongoing Apple vs The Beatles downloading spat for that day’s news.

Business presenter Karen Bowerman thought she was talking to Kewney for analysis, leading to a slightly surreal interview in which Goma gamely tried to answer her questions despite the pair clearly becoming increasingly confused.

The clip has since attracted 5.3m views on the BBC News YouTube channel, as well as popping up on bloopers shows the world over.

Now Goma, 54 and an employed computer technician, albeit not for the BBC, has told the podcast series Accidental Celebrities that he believes he should earn a share of the royalties, and that although he has contacted the BBC he is yet to receive a response.

The podcast’s hosts, Josh Pieters and Archie Manners, pressed Goma on whether he would go to court over what they described as an “incredibly unfair” situation.

Goma responded: “I am going to go because of the money they made from it. They didn’t give me a single penny. They have been using it for nearly 20 years with no penny to me. When I see that they are paying people millions here and there, that clip made them richer.”

Goma added that he is considering writing a book called Wrong Guy.

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