BBC blames "human error" after carrying footage of LeBron James in coverage of Kobe Bryant death

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The BBC has apologised after mistakenly showing footage of LeBron James when reporting the death of fellow basketball star Kobe Bryant.

Former Los Angeles Lakers star Bryant was killed alongside his 13-year-old daughter and seven others yesterday when their helicopter crashed in southern California.

The BBC's News at Ten programme carried a report of the tragedy but used footage of James, who beat Bryant's career points tally only last week.

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At the end of the bulletin, newsreader Reeta Chakrabarti apologised for the earlier error, saying: "In our coverage of the death of Kobe Bryant, in one section of the report, we mistakenly showed pictures of another basketball player, LeBron James. We do apologise for the error."

And Paul Royall, editor of BBC News at Six and Ten, said the error "fell below our usual standards on the programme”.

He tweeted: “In tonight’s coverage of the death of Kobe Bryant on #BBCNewsTen we mistakenly used pictures of LeBron James in one section of the report.

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“We apologise for this human error which fell below our usual standards on the programme.”

The error drew considerable criticism online. Matthew Champion, Deputy world news editor for BuzzFeedNews, said: "I genuinely cannot believe that the actual BBC News at 10 just did this."