BBC forced to apologise to One Direction prize winners after "failed promise" to meet band turned into "disappointment of a…

BBC forced to apologise to One Direction prize winners after 'failed promise' to meet band turned into 'disappointment of a lifetime'
Hannah Hastings and Louisa Marsden won a BBC radio competition
Then spent 350 to travel to Belfast to meet One DirectionOn arrival were told there was a mistake and they wouldn't meet them
The girls then found that their seats were a 'long way from the front

PUBLISHED:

11:43 GMT, 21 March 2013

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UPDATED:

12:26 GMT, 21 March 2013

Two fans of One Direction experienced the 'disappointment of a lifetime' when they won a Radio 1 competition to meet the band but were told at the last minute that they wouldn't.

The BBC was forced to apologise after friends Hannah Hastings, 20, and Louisa Marsden, 21, claim they were left disappointed by Radio 1.

The girls were also told promised the best seats at the 1D show but were given tickets that left them a 'long way from the front'.

Disappointed: Hannah and Louisa spent 350 of their own money to go to Belfast after they won BBC Radio 1 tickets

Disappointed: Hannah and Louisa spent 350 of their own money to go to Belfast after they won BBC Radio 1 tickets

Huge fans: The girls were devastated when they realised that they wouldn't be meeting the band

Huge fans: The girls were devastated when they realised that they wouldn't be meeting the band

Hannah and Louisa paid 350 out of their own pockets to fly to Belfast for the concert and an overnight hotel staon March 11.

But then Radio 1 told the pair they would not meet the band – dashing their dreams of coming face-to-face with their idol Harry Styles.

Law student Hannah and media student Louisa immediately complained to the BBC and television watchdog Ofcom – saying they were misled by Radio 1.

Hannah said: 'We were so excited when we won – we are both massive fans of the band and especially Harry Styles.

Promise: Hannah and Louisa say they heard a Radio 1 DJ say that they could meet the band twice live on air

Promise: Hannah and Louisa say they heard a Radio 1 DJ say that they could meet the band twice live on air

Far away: The girls spent more money to sit at the back than they would have spent on front row seats in Cardiff

Far away: The girls spent more money to sit at the back than they would have spent on front row seats in Cardiff

'We heard the competition for tickets being advertised on Radio 1 so I phoned up and got through.

'It was specifically stated by Radio 1 DJ Gemma Cairney that the prize offered the opportunity to meet and greet the One Direction boys themselves.

'I went live on air and correctly answered questions about which cities in Britain One Direction were playing.

'Radio 1 had been building it up all day as an amazing experience for One Direction fans.

'But the seats were nothing special at all and we were a long way from the front.'

Fortune: The girls spent 350 to see the band, particularly teen heartthrob Harry Styles

Fortune: The girls spent 350 to see the band, particularly teen heartthrob Harry Styles

The prize was offered on Radio 1 thoughout the day on March 10 with the 'Take 3' competition broadcast live on the Jameela Jamil Official Chart Show.

Hannah and Louise, of Newport, South Wales, say the trip cost more than front row tickets for the band's shows on their doorstep in Cardiff.

Furious Hannah said: 'I really thought I'd won something special.

'But from the moment we arrived in Belfast we were told there would be no meet and greet. The BBC knew we were flying over from Cardiff at our own expense.

'They also knew the prize they were offering was not worth us spending all that money and flying all that way for two below average tickets.

'I have made an official complaint saying the prize on offer was inaccurate and we went to the concert on false pretences.

Hearthrobs: The girls were excited to have won as tickets for this One Direction tour have been selling out

Hearthrobs: The girls were excited to have won as tickets for this One Direction tour have been selling out

One Direction have been touring arenas around the country, spending several nights in each city

One Direction have been touring arenas around the country, spending several nights in each city

'It was the disappointment of a lifetime for any 1D fan.'

Although the BBC say that the promise of a meet and greet was just broadcast on air once, the girls say they heard it twice and that they didn't hear any correction.

Chris Humphrys, the Content and Schedules Manager for Radio 1, has written to the girls saying he is 'sorry' they feel they were let down by the station.

An Ofcom spokesman confirmed they were investigating the complaint.

A BBC spokeswoman said: 'The error in which a Radio 1 DJ mistakenly referred to the prize as a 'meet and greet' was corrected on air and the nature of the prize was clearly communicated throughout the day.

'The prize of tickets to the sold-out One Direction concert was provided in accordance with the terms and conditions of the competition.

'As a gesture of good will, we have also arranged for the winner to receive personalised signed merchandise from the band.'