BBC criticised for naming panda as a woman of the year
THE BBC has come in for ridicule after it included a giant panda called Sweetie alongside Pippa Middleton and Adele in its list of the 12 women of the year.
The broadcaster's Faces of the year 2011 – the women featured the women who made the headlines for each month and included Gabrielle Giffords, the US Congresswoman who recovered after she was shot in the head, as well as Brazilian president Dilma Rousseff.
Pippa Middleton is named as the female face of April after she caught the nation's attention as maid of honour at the wedding of her sister Kate to Prince William.
But for December, the BBC picked Sweetie the panda, who arrived along with Sunshine in Edinburgh from China. The pandas are on loan to the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland for £600,000 a year.
The list sparked a mock-frenzy on Twitter with users labelling the episode "panda gate".
John Prescott took to his Twitter account and said: "So the BBC couldn't find a woman for Sports Personality of the Year but they could find a panda for a female face of 2011 #pandagate."