In an otherwise informative feature on psychics fleecing credulous members of the public for thousands of pounds, BBC Watchdog presenter Julia Bradbury came out with the extraordinary statement "Of course, there are genuine psychics out there as well." (See the YouTube video below)
What? Did the presenter of the BBC's flagship consumer awareness programme just suggest that it's possible to find real psychics with real psychic powers who can provide you with real information?
On this week's edition, the presenters backtracked slightly in response to letters questioning Bradbury's bizarre statement. Co-presenter Nicky Campbell declared that "proving the authenticity or otherwise of all psychics is slightly outside our area of expertise, but it seems to us that there is a big difference between someone who reads your tea leaves at the village fête and someone ... who tries to snaffle hundreds of pounds so she can 'fix your aura'."
(You can see this on BBC's iPlayer by following this link and scrolling to 11mins, though I think it might only be available to UK viewers).
Well, you can kind of see their point I suppose, but only if these innocent village fête "psychics" are only selling their "services" as a bit of fun, and a bit of fun for charity at that. They're clearly not as bad as those involved in mega-scams, but there's still plenty of people raking in small sums at a time by claiming various supernatural abilities. You only have to take a stroll along Brighton seafront in summer to see those people in action and, in my books, they're still involved in scams.
Oh, and Watchdog didn't really retract Bradbury's "genuine psychics" statement, did it?