A job applicant who became an overnight internet sensation when he was interviewed on the BBC in a notorious case of mistaken identity is suing the corporation for a share of the royalties from his infamous video clip.
Accidental hero Guy Goma made headlines around the world in 2006 after he went to the BBC for a job interview – and ended up being ushered into a studio to be quizzed live on air by a journalist.
In a hilarious clip, he was asked about a legal battle between Apple computers and the Apple Corps record company after he was mistaken for a technology expert called Guy Kewney.
But Mr Goma, 54, a computer technician, has now revealed that he received no payment for his awkward interview on BBC News 24, despite it being screened repeatedly over the last 17 years.
In an interview with the podcast series Accidental Celebrities, he insisted that he deserved a slice of the royalties from the video after being unwittingly thrust into the limelight.
When asked if the BBC had reached out to him since what is often described as one of the Beeb’s biggest blunders, he said: ‘I contacted them.
Guy Goma- Job applicant who became internet sensation when he was interviewed by the BBC in case of mistaken identity
They didn’t answer me.’Mr Goma admitted that he had received no payment and it appeared that the BBC had waited for him ‘to take them to court’.
Asked if he was going to go to court, he said: ‘I am going to go because of the money they made from it.
They didn’t give me a single penny.’Podcast hosts Josh Pieters and Archie Manners told him that his lack of payment seemed ‘incredibly unfair’ due to the clip going viral around the world.
He replied: ‘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.’
Mr Goma who now works for a charity heling people with learning disabilities, said he was also considering writing a book, called ‘Wrong Guy’.
The blunder happened after Mr Goma, a Congolese-French business studies graduate, went for a job interview as a data support cleanser in the BBC’s IT department on May 8, 2006.
Accidental hero Guy Goma made headlines around the world in 2006 at the BBC in the chat
He was waiting in the main reception at BBC Television Centre in west London while expert Guy Kewney was in another reception area preparing for his live interview.
A producer who was sent to escort Mr Kewney to the BBC News 24 studio was sent to the wrong reception area and asked a receptionist if she had seen him.
She mistakenly pointed to Guy Goma, leading to the producer to ask if he was Guy Kewney.
Mr Goma from Brazzaville in the Republic of the Congo agreed as he only heard his first name mentioned, and thought the producer was taking him for his job interview.
He became confused when he was instead led into the studio, offered make-up, and fitted up with a microphone before being put in front of a camera.
Mr Goma realised there had been a misunderstanding when journalist Karen Bowerman began to question him about the court battle between the two Apple companies.
He famously tried to bluff his way through by giving what appeared to be an authoritative answer about how the case could lead to more people downloading music online.
Speaking on the podcast sponsored by DASH fruit flavoured water, Mr Goma described how he went to the BBC for his job interview.
He said: ‘I am Guy Goma. I am here for a job interview. They just asked me to have a seat. After ten or 15 minutes, one gentleman came and called ‘Guy’.
‘I looked to the left and the right. Maybe there was someone else of that name? I went to follow the gentleman.
‘We went to the second floor and one beautiful lady came to put make up on me. I found it funny already. I said, ‘Excuse me, I don’t need that. I just came for a job interview. I don’t need the make up, why are you doing those things to me?’
‘There were two stools. I sat on one and one was empty. I was just sitting there. A few minutes later Karen came… I saw all the TVs and I said, ‘Oh my God’. I could see my funny face.’
Mr Goma admitted he made a funny expression to try and demonstrate that he was ‘in the wrong place’.
But he added: ‘I am honest. I said, ‘God help me’ because I did not know what to say. I didn’t know what was going on with the reporter, whatever they were saying.’
Mr Goma said he decided to answer the questions when he was asked about the music industry and technology.
He went on: ‘She didn’t realise anything. At the end of the interview, I told her she had made a mistake and had interviewed the wrong person.
‘They didn’t say a single thing for a week even after I left the building. Nobody knew what was going on.
‘I left that building and called my brother and said there was a mistake, and explained to him everything, and he said, ‘Don’t worry, go home’.’ I said, ‘No, I can’t go home now. I want to call the people who were supposed to interview me for a job’. I called again those people and they said they are waiting for you.’
Mr Goma said he told staff interviewing him for the job that he had been taken to a studio by mistake and had landed up on live TV.
But after being given a ten minute job interview around 20 minutes after his studio appearance, he was told that he was not getting the job.
He only realised that his interview in the studio had been screened around the world when he left the BBC television centre and was called by a cousin in France.
Mr Goma said: ‘He said, ‘Guy, what have you done?’ I just explained to him, ‘Don’t worry, I have not done anything wrong’.
He added: ‘A few days after that, I saw on all the newspapers, my face was there. I dare not go outside. It was scary for me. I was locking myself in the house.’
Asked why he had not immediately corrected the reporter when he was questioned, he said: ‘My mum told me, ‘When you make a mistake somewhere, correct it in a positive way’.
Mr Goma said that the best result of his experience, was that it had led to him experiencing the ‘kindness of people’ who recognised him from his moment of fame.
He said: ‘You just seem somebody stopping and looking at me, saying, ‘Are you Guy?’, and I say, ‘Yes, it’s me’.’