Sixteen years ago, BBC News gave the internet a gem it will never forget. Guy Goma, a computer technician, was mistaken for a technology expert who would be speaking on live television.
After he was quickly ushered into the makeup room and then on live TV, the anchor called him Guy Kewney and asked him an expert question, which was when he realized that they had the wrong guy. Goma’s expression when the penny dropped is the most priceless reaction ever. Goma handled the frightening situation admirably, becoming a famous icon that the internet remembers. As BBC celebrates its 100th anniversary, the video has started making rounds on Reddit and Twitter.
How the mixup happened is a funny story. Goma was actually waiting to be interviewed for a position as an accountant in the company’s IT department in the main reception area of the BBC Television Centre, reports Metro.
A technology expert named Guy Kewney was also waiting at the same time in another reception area, preparing for a live television interview about Apple Computer’s legal dispute with the Beatles’ record label, Apple Corps. Kewney was reportedly at the main reception area when a producer was dispatched to retrieve him. The receptionist mistakenly pointed to Goma when she was asked by the producer where Guy Kewney was.
With only five minutes left before the live interview, the producer spotted a picture of Kewney. They approached Goma and enquired as to his identity. Goma was escorted to the News 24 studio, offered makeup, and hurried to the broadcast studio where he was seated in front of the cameras and got linked up with a microphone.
He felt that the situation was rather odd, but he still thought he was about to go through a job interview. He was completely shocked when the presenter introduced him, saying, “Guy Kewney is the editor of the technology website Newswireless. Good morning to you.” Goma, visibly shocked, wishes her back. When he realized he’s been called in to weigh in on the Apple case, he made a calm effort to respond to the questions posed to him.
“Actually, if you can go everywhere you’re gonna see a lot of people downloading through the Internet and the website, everything they want. But I think is much better for development and…eh…to improve people what they want, and to get on the easy way, and so faster the things they looking for,” Goma said, weighing in with his opinion. Kewney, who was still waiting, was startled to see Goma being questioned in his position even if he couldn’t hear the audio.
Goma reportedly went to his job interview 20 minutes after the broadcast gaffe, but he wasn’t hired. BBC brought him back to interview him about the incident itself and Goma ended up shooting to intense fame, with artists planning movies and other projects with him. Alison Rosenzweig was reportedly interested, as she told BBC in 2006. “He’s a fun, kind of internationally famous person that I think is an interesting source for movie material,” Rosenzweig said. “We’re developing the project, and hopefully we’ll be able to set it up on a major studio.” Goma was reportedly interested too, “If they want to do a movie, I don’t mind talking with them,” he said.
Users on social media have been sharing the clip, reflecting on Goma’s ability to maintain his composure in easily the most difficult “thinking on your feet” situations. Reddit user u/Ramboryback wrote, “Props to the guy to not shy away and took it as a chance to showcase his skills.” u/Markylardy curses at BBC, saying, “And ya did not give him the job? Fuck you BBC” Another user u/InternationalTear703 agreed, adding, “His coolness under pressure and improv skills most likely landed him a job for Mi6 lol”
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