Boxing champ has to reassure worried pals he’s ALIVE after BBC show his photo in coronavirus death montage blunder

A champion British boxer had to reassure friends he is still ‘alive and well’ after the BBC mistakenly included his picture in a roll call of people killed by coronavirus.

Rhys McCole, from Greenock, took to social media hours later to confirm he was still alive after the broadcaster falsely reported on his death.

His photograph had been included in a montage of those who have recently passed away during Reporting Scotland’s segment on Covid-19.

Mr McCole said on Twitter: ‘Thanks to everyone for their messages. Despite @BBCScotlandNews reporting and putting a picture of me on television saying that I have died of Covid-19 I am actually ALIVE and well.

‘My thoughts go to all those that have lost loved ones.’

Howard Simpson, News Editor and Editor of Newsgathering at BBC Scotland, later apologised to Mr McCole for the error, insisting it was a ‘genuine production mistake.’

In an email posted to Twitter by the boxer, he said: ‘I wanted to email you to apologise for an error in our output.

‘As you are acutely aware, we included a picture of you in a graphic last night in our report on Covid-19. I’m afraid this was a genuine production mistake – and as soon as it was noticed we replaced it.

‘On behalf of BBC Scotland News I can only apologise for the hurt this may have caused you and your family.

‘Be assured we take accuracy very seriously and we have reinforced our process to ensure this.’

Mr McCole, who is a three-times Scottish Boxing National Champion, told his followers to ‘make up your own mind about the reply’ when he posted it online.

He said: ‘So @BBCScotlandNews @BBCBreaking have been in contact. Just want to THANK everyone that helped and assisted me in this matter.

‘I appreciate you all. Make your own mind up about the reply.  Anyway, look after each other and stay well.’

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