London restaurant in dispute with BBC over TV show

20 August 2008 by
London restaurant in dispute with BBC over TV show

The owner of an Italian restaurant in London's Soho is in dispute with the BBC after he claimed that his business was wrongly implicated during an episode of Rogue Restaurants earlier this month.

In the BBC1 programme on 7 August, the Little Italy restaurant, part of the Little Italy Group, in Villiers Street, Charing Cross, was accused of "shambolic" administration, employing illegal immigrant workers and inadequate restaurant hygiene.

But Anthony Polledri, the owner of the Little Italy Ltd restaurant, a completely separate entity in nearby Frith Street, was angered when concerned customers began phoning him asking for an explanation.

His solicitors Edwin Coe, sent a letter to the BBC, dated 12 August and seen by Caterersearch, warning that "no attempt had been made by the BBC to distance the allegations" from its client.

There was particular concern over presenters referring to making complaints to Westminster Council at the end of the programme.

However, the BBC said it had not received any letter and claimed that, when it had spoken to Polledri on 12 August, he had confirmed he would not be taking any legal action.

A BBC spokeswoman told Caterersearch that a letter had been sent to Pollendri on Monday (18 August) stating that his restaurant was not the one featured in the programme.

"Unless Mr Polledri contacts the BBC again it is our understanding that the matter is now closed," she added.

But Polledri said that, as far as he was concerned, the matter was "far from resolved" and that, although he was not looking for legal action, he wanted further clarification from the BBC.

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By Gemma Sharkey

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