Spoof Video goes viral as Singer-Songwriter Bob Geldof’s interview with BBC Newsnight

International Missing Context

A video of a man in sunglasses and sporting shoulder length hair, talking about the advent of internet and smartphones is slowly going viral across social media platforms with the claim that it is a section of singer-songwriter Bob Geldof’s interview on BBC’s Newsnight, aired in 1999. The 2:15 minute long video also has inserts of the host, Jeremy Paxman. The person being interviewed talks about emoticons and about how people will be hooked to their phones all throughout the day.  

Here are links to some of the posts:

Twitter Link | Facebook Link

We also got the same video on our WhatsApp Factline number 904 905 3770 with a request to verify the authenticity of the video and the caption. The caption states “Bob Geldof( the pop singer ) was interviewed by  the BBC Newsnight  in 1999. At that time it was assumed that he was high while giving this interview, but just listen to the predictions he made at that time…”. Archived Link 

Fact Crescendo found that the claim is False. The video is actually a fairly recent spoof of a David Bowie interview and the person is not the popstar Bob Geldof. Here’s how:

FACT CHECK METHODOLOGY

At first, we observed the video carefully and noticed that despite the shoulder length hair, the person being interviewed does not resemble the singer-songwriter Bob Geldof.

Following this, we ran a keyword search on Google to see if the Irish Singer-Songwriter Bob Geldof had given any such interview on BBC’s Newsnight but failed to find any in which he said what has been said in the viral video about internet or smartphones in such vivid detail. 

After this, we split the video into keyframes with the help of the invid-we verify tool and ran a reverse image search. We also added relevant keywords to the search and came across this video on the official Twitter account of the British Writer and Comedian, Michael Spicer. Spicer had uploaded the same video on January 3, 2022 captioning it as: “David Bowie Predicts the Impact of the Internet on Newsnight (1999).” 

After going through the comments, we realized that the video is actually a satirical video, in which the British Comedian is trying to impersonate the late English Singer and Songwriter David Bowie

We saw in the comments that it is a spoof of Bowie’s interview on BBC’s Newsnight. 

While going through Spicer’s Twitter profile, we saw that he keeps posting satirical content from time to time. We also came across this retweet of his own video which he captioned as “Partly False”.

We, then, searched for the original interview and came across this video, published on BBC Newsnight’s official YouTube channel on January 11, 2016, with the caption “David Bowie speaks to Jeremy Paxman on BBC Newsnight (1999)”:

CONCLUSION

From the above evidence, it is clear that the viral video is not an interview of singer-songwriter Bob Geldof on BBC’s Newsnight, but is a spoof of a David Bowie interview on the same show. The satirical video was created and uploaded by British Comedian Michael Spicer. The viral video is being shared with a Misleading Caption.

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Title:Spoof Video goes viral as Singer-Songwriter Bob Geldof’s interview with BBC Newsnight

Fact Check By: Manjori Borkotoky 

Result: Missing Context


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