Guy Goma



Guy Goma (born c. 1969) is a business studies graduate from Congo-Brazzaville who gained international fame when he was accidentally interviewed live on BBC News 24, a UK television news station, on May 8, 2006. There has been talk of a movie regarding his story.

Goma was waiting in the main reception area of the BBC Television Centre in West London to be interviewed for a position as a "Data Support Cleanser" in the Corporation's IT department. At the same time, Guy Kewney, a British technology expert, was in another reception area, known as Stage Door, preparing for a live television interview on the subject of Apple Computer's court case with The Beatles' record label, Apple Corps. The producer who was sent to fetch Kewney, however, was told that Kewney was in the main reception area. When he got there and asked the receptionist in person where Guy Kewney was, she pointed to Goma, even after being asked if she was sure that this was the right person. The producer had seen a photo of Kewney, but only had five minutes before the live interview was due to take place. So he approached Goma and asked him if he was Guy Kewney. Hearing his first name but perhaps believing "Kewney" to be a mispronunciation of his last name, Goma answered in the affirmative. Goma was led to the News 24 studio. BBC staffers put on makeup, and he was ushered to the television studio, where he was seated in front of the cameras and wired up with a microphone. Although believing the situation to be highly unusual, he prepared to do his best for what he believed would be his job interview.

When introduced by interviewer Karen Bowerman as Internet expert Guy Kewney, Goma became visibly shocked as he finally realised the serious misunderstanding that had taken place. Now aware of the fact that he was on live television and not wishing to make a scene now that the interview had already begun, he simply played along, doing his best (in heavily French-accented English) to answer the interviewer's questions about the Apple Corps v. Apple Computer case and its ramifications for the music industry. Apart from the facial expression at the start, the interview seemed fairly believable to many viewers, particularly those unfamiliar with Kewney. In the meantime, Kewney, still in the waiting area, was himself shocked when he saw Goma interviewed in his place (though he was not able to hear the audio).

Twenty minutes after the interview, Goma was given his job interview, which lasted ten minutes.

As soon as the mistake was detected the BBC recorded an interview with Kewney for later broadcast, which was never shown. The BBC instead brought in an alternative pundit, Rupert Goodwins, for the next live slot on the topic.

After Goma's interview aired, it was mistakenly reported (even by the BBC itself, on Radio 4's Broadcasting House) that Goma, who moved to England from Congo in 2002, was a taxi cab driver. In fact, he does not drive a car.

Soon after his appearance, there was some speculation that Goma was in Britain illegally, having overstayed a tourist visa, and that he might be deported from the country. On 25 May 2006, it was announced that celebrity publicist Kizzi Nkwocha had begun representing Goma and that Goma's apparent visa problems had already been resolved three years earlier, allowing him to live and work in the UK indefinitely.

Goma was not hired for the IT job.

Karen Bowerman: Well, Guy Kewney is editor of the technology website Newswireless.
Goma: (Goma's face goes through four distinct expressions in under five seconds: shocked realisation; blind terror; crafty resolve and his best "Guy Kewney" face.)
KB: Hello, good morning to you.
Goma: Good morning.
KB: Were you surprised by this verdict today?
Goma: I am very surprised to see...this verdict to come on me, because I was not expecting that. When I came, they told me something else and I am coming. You got an interview that's all. So a big surprise anyway.
KB: A big surprise, yeah, yes.
Goma: Exactly.
KB: With regards to the costs involved, do you think now more people will be downloading online?
Goma: Actually, if you can go everywhere you're gonna see a lot of people downloading to the Internet and the website, and everything they want. But I think it is much better for the development and...eh...to inform people what they want and to get the easy way and so faster if they are looking for.
KB: It does really seem to be the way the music industry's progressing now, that people want to go onto the website and download music.
Goma: Exactly. You can go everywhere on the cyber cafe, and you can take...you can go easy. It is going to be an easy way for everyone to get something to the Internet.
KB: Guy Kewney, thanks very much indeed.

On May 16, 2006, Goma appeared on Channel 4 News and was jokingly questioned by the presenter — introducing him as a Venezuelan citizen, a lawyer and a doctor respectively — on the topics of Hugo Chávez, the release of foreign prisoners into Britain, and Britons seeking medical treatment abroad. On the same day, he also appeared again on BBC News 24, but this time in a planned interview to talk about his experience.

Soon after, he made appearances on GMTV, ITV and BBC's Friday Night with Jonathan Ross. He was also a featured celebrity on the televised call-in panel of the Prince's Trust 30th Birthday Celebration on May 20, 2006. On May 21, 2006, Guy was interviewed on Channel 4's T4 program about his experience.

A British comedy band, The Sex Bishops, composed their song "Come On Me (I'm Coming)" with sound bites from Guy's original BBC interview."

Producer Alison Rosenzweig (Windtalkers) says she has begun developing a movie based on his life, particularly this one incident, commenting "He's a fun, kind of internationally famous person that I think is an interesting source for movie material."

On December 27, 2006, Guy appeared on the Channel 4 television programme The Big Fat Quiz of the Year, asking a bonus question. After a commercial break, he took Jimmy Carr's place as host for a few seconds, welcoming the audience back to the show. Everyone on the quiz agreed that Goma was a better host than Carr, eventually leading to the audience and contestants heckling Carr and insulting his ability as a presenter, and chanting "We want Guy, we want Guy!"; Carr, though feigning displeasure, took this with good humour.

On January 1, 2007, Guy appeared in a segment on CNN International Your World Today.

Guy is set to appear at the 2007 Royal Variety Perfomance.Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2 or any later version published by the Free Software Foundation; with no Invariant Sections, with no Front-Cover Texts, and with no Back-Cover Texts.
Virtual Magic is a human knowledge database blog. Text Based On Information From Wikipedia, Under The GNU Free Documentation License. Copyright (c) 2007 Virtual Magic. Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.1 or any later version published by the Free Software Foundation; with no Invariant Sections, no Front-Cover Texts and no Back-Cover Texts. A copy of the license is included in the section entitled "GNU Free Documentation License".

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