Grandma says she was to blame for live BBC interview gatecrashed by professor's children

Rebecca Flood

The mother of the professor whose children gate-crashed his live TV interview says she may have been to blame for the hilarious mishap.

The clip of Robert Kelly, an expert in South Korean politics, being interviewed on BBC News has gone viral after his two young children – hotly pursued by his wife – wandered into the shot.

Mr Kelly was being asked questions on the serious topic of the impeachment of South Korean president Park Geun-hye, when Marion, five, and James, nine months, burst into the room.

As the expert fought to keep his composure, Mr Kelly’s wife of six years, Jung-a Kim, haphazardly shepherded the children out of the room.

The 44-year-old’s mother, Ellen Kelly, has revealed she may have been the reason for the live gaffe.

From Cleveland, Ohio, she and her husband, Joseph, regularly Skype her son and grandchildren who live in Korea, where Mr Kelly is an associate professor of political science at Pusan National University in Busan.

The 72-year-old told the Daily Mail: “Robert usually Skypes with us from his home office, which is where he did the interview.

“The kids probably heard voices coming from the computer and assumed it was us. It was just hilarious.”

Following the instant internet sensation, which has been turned into countless memes, she added: “I just hope that he gains recognition for his expertise rather than for this - as great as it all is.”

She first heard of the blunder from her sister, and she then phoned her son who was “probably just embarrassed”.

But with Korea being 14 hours ahead, she said he may not have fully realised the extent of his fame until he woke up.

The proud mother said: “It was just fantastic. Robert will be in for a real treat when he wakes up the morning.

“Life happens. The lesson is to lock the door!”

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