BBC apologises to Hadid after interview row
The BBC has apologised to Zaha Hadid after she cut short a live radio interview because of what she felt were poorly researched questions.
Radio 4’s Today programme has issued a correction on its website and has sent a personal apology to Hadid following the interview with presenter Sarah Montague.
The apology said that Today had not intended to upset the architect.
Montague said that 1,200 deaths were the result of stadium projects in Qatar for the 2022 Fifa World Cup.
This number was based on a report from the International Trade Union Council (ITUC), which referred to deaths of migrant workers across the entire country since it won the bid to host the football event and not to Hadid’s project.
An angry Hadid told Montague there had been no deaths on her project (pictured) and that she should check her facts.
The Today programme’s website stated: “The ITUC’s figure of 1200 deaths which was quoted on Thursday morning’s programme refers to migrant workers in the whole of Qatar across several years, and not only to the construction sector nor specifically to the main World Cup stadium sites. We are sorry we didn’t make this clear in the interview with Dame Zaha Hadid. The Qatari Government say there have been no deaths on World Cup construction sites.”
Montague’s question was: “One of your buildings is the Qatar stadium where there have been considerable problems, not least the number of deaths.”
Hadid replied: “There have not been any problems actually, I have to put you right, there has not been a single problem at the Qatar stadium.”
Montague asked again about the reports of deaths, Hadid added: ‘There have been no deaths on our site whatsoever…You should check your information before you say anything.’
When Montague interrupted one of her answers, Hadid said: “Don’t ask me a question when you can’t let me finish it. Listen to me, let’s stop this conversation right now. I don’t want to carry on. Thank you very much.”