I do a lot of TV appearances to speak on various matters of the music industry, and while I’m waiting for the segment, I have this flash of fear for a second or two when see myself in the camera in front of me. I’m always waiting for the moment Guy Goma had – a wrong camera here, a mistaken identity there, and then I’m on the air to being asked about the latest economic or scientific breakthough. It never happens, though, but I’d like to think I *might* be able to fake it for a moment or two.
It’s 10 years since Guy Goma became a celebrity after he was mistaken for an internet expert and interviewed on BBC News TV. The unemployed computer technician had been at the BBC for a job interview. But the graduate from the Congo gained worldwide attention after a mix-up saw him interviewed on air instead of Guy Kewney. It’s worth watching again.
Karen Bowerman: Well, Guy Kewney is editor of the technology website Newswireless. [Camera flashes to Goma, with look of confusion and horror] 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.
KB: With regards to the cost that’s 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 through Internet and the website, everything they want. But I think it is much better for the development and…eh…to inform people what they want, and to get on the easy way, and so faster if they are looking for.
KB: This 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 through the Internet.
KB: Guy Kewney, thanks very much indeed.
In 2016, ten years after Goma’s appearance, the incident was named as one of the BBC’s most memorable interview bloopers, and some outlets noted that Goma’s prediction that more people would be using the internet to download music and other media they want was largely correct. He’s since turned this moment into being a celebrity himself, appearing on GMTV, ITV, CNN and BBC’s Friday Night with Jonathan Ross.