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Peter Wilson misrepresented by BBC’s Countryfile

Peter Wilson says Countryfile failed to reflect what he actually said during the interview on PACEC report which analysed the benefits of shooting to the UK.

Peter Wilson

Olympic gold medallist Peter Wilson MBE has criticised the BBC’s coverage of shooting in its flagship rural affairs programme, Countryfile.

The double trap champion was interviewed for the 6 July episode of the programme, which announced the findings of the latest report on the economic, environmental and social worth of shooting. Peter said that the edited version of the programme as broadcast did not reflect the thrust of what he had actually said in relation to funding and licensing and that the BBC failed to mention his gameshooting background in spite of the fact he referred to it multiple times during filming.

Peter did not see the programme on the day it was broadcast because he was out of the country, but he registered his disappointment publicly on Twitter soon after watching it on his return on 8 July. He tweeted: “This is the first interview I have done where what was shown failed to reflect the overall thrust of what I had said in the unedited interview.”

In the programme, an interview with the Olympic champion was shown immediately after footage featuring BASC chief executive Richard Ali calling for more funding for Olympic and Commonwealth shooting sports. Peter was then shown discussing increases in UK Sport funding for shooting.

In his voiceover commentary, presenter Tom Heap summed up the first section of his interview with the Olympic champion by saying: “Peter doesn’t feel the sport needs more support, but he does share the BASC’s frustrations about red tape.”

After watching the broadcast version for the first time, Peter said: “When I was asked to comment about funding I appeared to be in opposition to Richard Ali’s plea for more financial support. I merely stated that following 2012 funding had increased in line with UK Sport’s policy of reinforcing success. Anyone reading my column in Sporting Gun magazine will know that my dream is to see a centre of excellence for Olympic shooting, especially in the light of the likely closure of Southern Counties Shooting Ground, but that so far all my efforts have been baulked by lack of funds or the noise issue.”

Peter also explained that the programme gave an inaccurate representation of his views and experiences of the UK’s firearms licensing system, saying: “When I spoke about licensing the line of questioning had been about Section Five — competition hand guns — and licensing for clay guns in international competitions. By following that piece with an interview with a farmer I was made to appear to be speaking about shotguns held for vermin control.

“I am appalled that Dorset Police Firearms Licensing Unit may have thought I was unhappy with all that they have done for me. Absolutely not, they are brilliant and I can never thank them enough.”