UPDATED: Programme makers accused of faking jungle tribe story for BBC

UPDATE: The BBC have issued Unreality TV with the following statement, denying a number of the claims made today by The Daily Star:

“This programme was acquired by BBC Worldwide from Fremantle Media and was made by Cicada Productions. It was broadcast on our BBC Knowledge channel in Africa and it last aired in November 2010. There are no plans for the programme to be broadcast again on our channels.

“BBC Worldwide is committed to the highest editorial standards and will examine the claims made.

“We are concerned by the allegations made and we have asked Fremantle to establish the full facts and update us as a matter of urgency.”

The Daily Star reports today that programme makers have been accused of faking a show that falsely branded a peaceful jungle tribe as “sex-mad savages”.

In the show – that aired on the BBC Knowledge in Africa- ‘Mark & Olly: Living With The Machigenga’ viewers apparently saw Peruvians threatening the documentary’s British hosts, and saying, “We use arrows to kill outsiders.”

But scientists who are fluent in the tribe’s language insist they were in fact saying, “You come from far away where lots of gringos live.”

In another segment of the film, Chiefs of the Matsigenka tribe were seen indulging in what the paper describes as “kinky, weird and cruel rituals”.

They reportedly included threatening to rub hot chillis on men’s private parts, and staging wild “pig dances”.

However, top anthropologists, Dr Glenn Shepard and Ron Snell, said the Matsigenkas were actually “shy and discreet”.

And of the series, which features hosts Mark Anstice, 44, and Olly Steeds, 36, adapting to jungle life, Dr Glenn added, “I am totally shocked by Mark and Olly’s antics.

“They grossly misrepresent the culture of these people.”

The programme makers, Cicada Productions, said they were “not aware” of the accusations and had no comment.

A BBC spokesman said they would not air the show again.

Lynn is an editor and writer here at Unreality TV and is trained psychotherapist and the author of two books. She's addicted to soaps, period drama and reality TV shows such as X Factor, I'm A Celeb and Big Brother.