BBC admits blunder over Billy Connolly’s banana boots

The BBC gave the incorrect answer to a question regarding Billy Connolly.
The BBC gave the incorrect answer to a question regarding Billy Connolly.
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The BBC has admitted they ‘slipped up’ after Jeremy Paxman gave the incorrect answer to a question on University Challenge about who made Billy Connolly’s big banana boots.

In a special edition of the quiz show aired late last year, Jeremy Paxman asked a team from Kent University to name the Scottish artist who had designed the famous footwear famously worn by Co0nnolly in his early years as a stand-up.

The famous banana shoes on display in Glasgow

The famous banana shoes on display in Glasgow

Paxman told them the correct answer was Paisley-born Tutti Frutti writer John Byrne.

However the boots were designed and made by Glaswegian pop artist Edmund Smith.

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Mr Smith’s daughter sent in a formal complaint to the BBC which sparked an official probe, with the complaints unit upholding the complaints.

The BBC complaints unit said: “The answer to a question about Billy Connolly’s banana boots attributed their design to the playwright John Byrne.

“The daughter of Edmund Smith complained that the answer was incorrect, her father having designed and made the boots in question.

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“Evidence from several sources, including a detailed account of the matter in Pamela Stephenson’s biography of Billy Connolly, confirmed that the boots had been designed and made by Edmund Smith.

“The Executive Producer responsible for oversight of the series drew the finding to the attention of the independent production company which makes it.”

The boots made their first appearance on stage at the Music Hall in Aberdeen in August 1975.