BBC newsreader handles a live TV glitch like a pro

·3-min read

A BBC newsreader has won praise for her calm under pressure after a live TV glitch left the broadcaster in a potentially embarrassing situation.

Lukwesa Burak was anchoring the BBC News channel when the so-called “opt-out” appeared to let her down.

In a clip shared widely on Twitter, Burak finished a segment of the programme and said “around the world and across the UK, this is BBC News” as the feed cut to the channel’s titles.

Bagpipers appeared on screen briefly, before Burak could be seen stretching her arms up. She very quickly realises the camera is still rolling, and gives a look of disbelief (to put it mildly).

For what feels like an eternity, Burak stays silent. She eventually introduces a story about Ukraine.

An “opt-out” is when one set of viewers gets a different feed to another – such as adverts for an international audience which cannot be broadcast in the UK.

The BBC announced in July that BBC News and BBC World News would merge to create a single 24-hour TV channel, resulting in job losses, as part of its new digital-first strategy – which perhaps explains the gremlins.

Far from being a source of embarrassment, fellow broadcasters rallied around to praise Burak’s professionalism. She was variously described as a “legend” and “one of the best”.

Burak later took to Twitter to thank “colleagues - present and former, and all you wonderful viewers”.

As part of the shake-up, BBC Four and CBBC will also end as linear TV channels.

The BBC also plans for local radio stations to share more content and broadcast less programming unique to their areas.

The BBC needs to save a further £285 million in response to the announcement in January that the licence fee will be frozen for the next two years.