Presumably this was in the hope that there would be genuine shock at the end of episode 13 which is when, one would assume, the Doctor is injured in such a way that leads him to regenerate.
Presumably the BBC rushed a press statement once the press got hold of the story of Ecclestone leaving
Head of drama and commissioning Jane Tranter said: "The BBC regrets not speaking to Christopher before it responded to the press questions on Wednesday 30 March.
"The BBC further regrets that it falsely attributed a statement to Christopher and apologises to him."
A BBC spokesman said a mutual agreement was made between the corporation and Eccleston in January that the fact he was not making a second series would not be made public.
But after journalists questioned the press office, the news was confirmed.