Twitter is in a delighted frenzy after two young children gatecrashed their parents during live TV interviews
Sky News journalist Deborah Haynes was interrupted live on air by her own hungry son, while reporting from home on the latest developments in Hong Kong, where China has rolled out a controversial new security law.
During the appearance on camera, her child walked into shot to ask for biscuits.“Sorry, that’s my son arriving, really embarrassing,” she said.
“Can I have two biscuits,” the boy asked, to which Haynes replied: “Yes, you can have two biscuits, really sorry about that.”
Ms Haynes quickly apologised for the interruption before her colleague Mark Austin drew her appearance to a close and commented: “We’ll leave Deborah Haynes in full flow there with some family duties… but that’s what happens during lockdown.”
In a separate incident also on Wednesday afternoon, another youngster interrupted a live television interview on rival channel BBC News.
ABSOLUTE SCENES ON THE BBC NEWS CHANNEL pic.twitter.com/hvu9iWkkIz— Scott Bryan (@scottygb)July 1, 2020
Dr Clare Wenham from the London School of Economics (LSE) was discussing the Covid-19 pandemic from her home when her daughter, Scarlett, appeared on camera.
Despite Dr Wenham's efforts to contain her daughter during the interview, the young girl started talking loudly, climbed on top of the desk and even struck up a conversation with BBC newsreader Christian Fraser.
“Mummy, where do you want this picture?” Scarlett asked her mother on air, brandishing a frame that appeared to depict a unicorn which she had picked up from a shelf behind Dr Wenham.
In response, presenter Christian Fraser commented: “Scarlett, I think it looks better on the lower shelf… and it’s a lovely unicorn.”
Overhearing the newsreader Scarlett then asked: “Mummy, what’s his name?”
“My name is Christian,” replied Fraser.
Scarlett responded: “Christian, I’m just deciding where it can go and where mummy wants it to go.”
“I think just on that shelf is great, thank you,” said Dr Wenham before then turning back to the camera and adding “I’m so sorry”.
Mr Fraser then jokingly described the exchange as “the most informative interview I’ve done all day”.
Meanwhile, the exchanges were quickly picked up on by Twitter users, who pointed out the marked difference between the two different broadcasters' handling of the respective situations.
One said: "@SkyNews you couldn't handle a mum multitasking a live report & saying 'yes' to 2 biscuit request? @BBCNews handled this so much better! Only one 'uncomfortable & out of touch here is Sky News who cut her off!"
Another added: "Every working parent, is applauding Clare and the BBC right now & Superhero Scarlett. On the other hand Sky news & its presenter are taking flack (and rightly so) for being less accepting of ‘yes you can have two biscuits’."
Good Morning Britain Host Piers Morgan meanwhile questioned why Mr Austin had "cut away" from Ms Haynes, saying the latter had handled the situation "with hilarious aplomb" and praising the interview as "by far the best TV" the Sky presenter had "anchored for months".
— Piers Morgan (@piersmorgan)July 1, 2020
Picking up on the comments, the Sky presenter replied that he had been "keen to stay with" the interview with Ms Haynes and "find out which was the biscuit of choice".
"But international affairs beckoned," Mr Austin added in a post on Twitter.
I was keen to stay with it and find out which was the biscuit of choice ....but international affairs beckoned https://t.co/18ZkeiryMz— Mark Austin (@markaustintv)July 1, 2020
Ms Haynes weighed in herself, too, and thanked social media users for their "lovely comments after my son’s impromptu appearance mid-live-broadcast".
"I can confirm that his high-stakes negotiating skills netted him two chocolate digestives," she Tweeted.
Thank you for the lovely comments after my son’s impromptu appearance mid-live-broadcast. I can confirm that his high-stakes negotiating skills netted him two chocolate digestives https://t.co/OQRGiMNih2— Deborah Haynes (@haynesdeborah)July 1, 2020
Twitters users were also quick to lavish attention on the BBC exchange as well, with one person suggesting the on-air interruption was handled "beautifully" by Dr Wenham and Mr Fraser.
"A scenario faced by many women at the moment, but most of us won't be live on the BBC News Channel!" they added.
Another added: "So proud of my colleague Christian Fraser for his reaction! YES to normalising the reality of working parents, being human on the news (the two aren’t mutually exclusive) & to Dr Wenham for not skipping a beat delivering her expertise while caring for her daughter."
Dr Wenham meanwhile offered an update on Scarlett's efforts, saying the pair had settled on a shelf for her picture of the unicorn.
"We’ve decided on a shelf for the unicorn. Thanks to all for kind words normalising the work-parent balance that so many are juggling amid #covid19 chaos," she Tweeted.
"Today Scarlett wants to be #superheroelsa," she added.
We’ve decided on a shelf for the unicorn.
Thanks to all for kind words normalising the work-parent balance that so many are juggling amid #covid19 chaos
Today Scarlett wants to be #superheroelsa pic.twitter.com/byMbCPrZQD— Clare Wenham (@clarewenham)July 2, 2020
The two incidents on Wednesday had echoes of a 2017 event which saw Professor Robert Kelly go viral when his two kids interrupted an interview via video link with the BBC.
His wife could then be seen crashing into the room to remove the children.
Commenting on allegations the 2017 disruption was staged, which resurfaced after Wednesday's events, he Tweeted: "I am amazed that so many people still believe we faked the ‘BBC Dad’ incident. We did not."