BBC Apologies Profusely Over Loss Of Children's Personal Data

The loss of a tiny memory stick forced the BBC to issue an embarrassing apology to 250 children whose personal details were on the storage device.

The group was part of a food programme, called Gastronauts, and aimed at young children and was apparently stolen from the external programme company, Objective Productions, which produced the show.

Data lost is said to include names, addresses, families' holiday dates, phone numbers and more.

BBC's children's controller, Richard Deverell, has already sent a note to the children's parents informing them of the theft.

"I am sorry to let you know Objective have informed us that a computer memory stick has gone missing," Mr Deverell wrote.

"The memory stick is likely to have contained the information you gave. I know this situation may cause you some concern."

It is likely though that the memory stick, which has very little market value, could have been specifically targeted because of its sensitive content.

In the meantime though, BBC has temporarily suspended commissions to Objective productions until a full review of its practices has taken place.