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Satirical Video Widely Shared as a BBC Interview With Bob Geldof

Ouissal Harize Ouissal Harize
1st June 2022
Satirical Video Widely Shared as a BBC Interview With Bob Geldof
The video is satirical and unrelated to Bob Geldof (Twitter).

The Claim

In this BBC interview, the singer Bob Geldof predicted the future of the internet and targeted advertisement on social media. 

Emerging story

Social media users are widely circulating a video purporting to show a BBC interview with the singer and songwriter Bob Geldof. In this 1999 interview, Geldof allegedly predicted the rise of social media and how it would impact our lives.

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A supporting image within the article body
A supporting image within the article body

Misbar’s Analysis

Misbar investigated the circulating claim and found it to be fake. 

First, Misbar’s team searched for a 1999 BBC Newsnight interview with Bob Geldof. No results were found on any reliable BBC accounts. Moreover, the only results that were found were shared very recently. 

After examining  the video, Misbar’s team noticed that there is a flagrant difference in the quality of the image. When the camera focuses on the journalist, the image is more pixelated and appears to be older. This shows that the circulating video is, in fact, a merge of two different videos: one is older than the other.

David Bowie Predicts the Impact of the Internet on Newsnight (1999)

Misbar’s team conducted an advanced google search using keywords from the interview. The search led us to the same video being shared in relation to another similar claim. The second claim purported that the interview was given to Newsnight in 1999 by the English singer and songwriter David Bowie, as can be seen below. 

Misbar’s team found a video published on BBC Newsnight's official YouTube channel on January 11, 2016, with the caption "David Bowie speaks to Jeremy Paxman on BBC Newsnight (1999)," as can be seen below. 


Satire from “The Room Next Door”

Misbar’s investigation led to a satirical video by Michael Spicer, the British comedy writer. Spicer was part of the regular cast of “The Mash Report” on BBC2 and made short films and sketches for BBC Three. In 2019, he came up with the idea of “The Room Next Door,” a series of sketches that he shares via his verified Twitter account. 

In this video, which was virally shared with misleading claims, Spicer satirizes Bowie’s 2019 Newsnight interview on BBC.

Based on these findings, Misbar confirms that the circulating claim is fake. Although the original video was satirical, it was taken out of context and shared with fake claims. 

Additional Reporting by Misbar's Arabic Team

Misbar’s Classification


Misbar’s Sources

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