BBC apologises to Bernardine Evaristo for 'another author' ad lib

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Margaret Atwood and Bernardine EvaristoImage source, Getty Images
Image caption,
Margaret Atwood and Bernardine Evaristo shared the Booker Prize

The BBC has apologised for referring to Booker Prize joint-winner Bernardine Evaristo as "another author" without naming her directly.

Evaristo became the first black woman to win the prestigious award this year, sharing it with Margaret Atwood.

In its Turner Prize coverage on Tuesday, a BBC newsreader referred to Atwood but not Evaristo.

The BBC said presenter Shaun Ley's phrasing had been "unscripted" and "apologised for the offence caused".

The item focused on the decision of the four artists nominated for the Turner Prize to share the award between them.

Discussing their decision on Tuesday night, Ley said: "Now, this is a bit different from the Booker Prize earlier in the year where the judges couldn't make up their minds, so they gave it to Margaret Atwood and another author, who shared the prize between them."

A BBC spokesman said: "Our presenter was speaking live when he made the comparison between the Turner and Booker prize results.

"This part of the item was unscripted and he didn't say Bernardine Evaristo's name at the time. We apologise to her for the offence caused."

Viewing figures show around 191,000 people were watching the news channel at the time.

A clip was uploaded to Twitter by a campaign group which promotes diversity in literature, who described Ley's comments as "not good enough".

Evaristo herself then urged her 12,000 plus Twitter followers to share the video, commenting: "How quickly and casually they have removed my name from history - the first black woman to win it. This is what we've always been up against, folks."

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