Channel 4 has apologised after a programme falsely stated that one in five families in Stoke-on-Trent are officially homeless.
The claim was made on Location Location Location: Best and Worst, presented by Kirstie Allsopp and Phil Spencer and broadcast on 17 October.
The station was forced to formally apologise after the city’s mayor informed programme makers that there are only 13 families officially registered as homeless.
The apology, posted on its website, reads: “Channel 4 and IWC Media wish to apologise to the mayor and people of Stoke-on-Trent for this unfortunate and unintentional error.
“As soon as this came to light, steps were taken to remove the erroneous statistic from all future repeats of the programme and the programme website.”
The mistake was down to a misinterpretation of statistics by programme producers, the channel said.
Mayor of Stoke-on-Trent, Mark Meredith, said: “I was appalled when I first saw the programme.
“It was a grave insult – a slur on the people of Stoke-on-Trent and on the staff at the city council who work so hard to prevent homelessness.
“I had to act quickly to put this right.
“Our record in this field is so good that the Government is using Stoke-on-Trent as an example of best practice of how to deal with homelessness.
“In the current climate, when television producers are being called to account for misleading the viewing public and millions of viewers are being reimbursed after telephone voting scams, it is more important than ever that TV producers get their facts right.”