For the BBC and commercial broadcasters across Britain, their problems right now are all summed up in one word -- trust.

The BBC, doyen of British broadcasting, suffered the ultimate embarrassment last week of having to apologize to Queen Elizabeth for implying in a documentary trailer that she had stormed out of a photo-shoot with celebrity photographer Annie Leibovitz.

That followed a fine of 50,000 pounds ($101,600) imposed on the public broadcaster after the results of a competition in the popular children's program Blue Peter were found to have been faked.

But the BBC is not alone in its broadcasting woes.

British media watchdog Ofcom imposed its biggest ever penalty, a 300,000-pound fine, against the commercial channel Five network for faking winners in two live call-in competitions.

The telephone services regulator also fined Channel 4 150,000 pounds over a fake phone-in on a popular chat-show.

The barrage of bad publicity has produced much hand-wringing among broadcasters fearing viewers doubt their integrity.

It's desperately important that we restore trust, said Michael Grade, the former BBC chairman who is now chief executive of ITV, Britain's largest commercial broadcaster.

Grade, who unexpectedly defected to the BBC's arch rival last November, said there had been too much cutting of corners in a fiercely competitive market.

He said it was vital for program makers to understand You do not lie to audiences under any circumstances.

Grade resigned from the BBC last year as the corporation sought to restore public confidence after a damaging row with former Prime Minister Tony Blair over the broadcaster's coverage of the Iraq war.

Judge Lord Hutton exonerated Blair but lambasted the corporation in a 2003 probe into the death of a British scientist who committed suicide after being outed as the source of a BBC radio report that officials had hyped Iraq's weapons threat.

The BBC, affectionately known in Britain as Auntie, hit the headlines for all the wrong reasons again when it had to offer a shame-faced apology to Queen Elizabeth.

The BBC blamed a production company for sending it clips edited out of sequence which implied the monarch had lost her temper when asked to remove her crown.

The debacle over Blue Peter and the royal documentary prompted a sharply worded e-mail from BBC director-general Mark Thompson to all staff.

We cannot allow even a small number of lapses, whether intentional or as a result of sloppiness, to undermine our reputation and the confidence of the public, he said.

That very much echoed the verdict of John Whittingdale, chairman of parliament's culture, media and sport committee, who said Undoubtedly this has been a very serious blow to the honesty, integrity and the reputation of the BBC.

One of its greatest assets is its reputation for truth and honesty and that has been damaged, he concluded.