The BBC’s leading morning news programme, Radio 4’s Today, stopped broadcasting for about 30 minutes on Monday after an alarm cut the broadcast.
Towards the end of the 7.30am newscast, while the news anchor was handing a piece of the memorial to a police officer, listeners heard “Attention please, please leave the building immediately, please leave the building immediately from the nearest exit.”
Presenter Nick Robinson came back on air and said, “You might be able to hear we have a bit of an alarm going on here…but do we wait until someone seems vaguely panicked?”
His co-star, Martha Kearney, suggested they “hold on a bit” before the alarm sounded. And she added, “Well, maybe it’s going to be very difficult to continue with this alert going on in the background.”
“Very exciting,” she continued. “I hope this is a false alarm… This happened to me once when I was presenting the woman’s watch and we had to leave the building due to a fire. It was in the old Broadcasting House.”
Robinson then said, “We get them occasionally for alerts, and they usually don’t go off in the studio, but that’s ongoing, so we’ll go to a report and that will allow us to determine what’s going on.”
Robinson gave a pre-recorded report of the trial of Ghislaine Maxwell in which the alarm ran in the background and then the live broadcast stopped until 7.55am.
Kearney announced the return of the show: “As the news of the world fades, Nick and I are back in the studio.”
Robinson added, “The alarm just didn’t go away…Despite the noise you might have heard saying there was an emergency, as far as we can tell there was actually no emergency, we had to follow procedures and we did it, and we were out in the cold for some time but we are relieved to be back on the Today show…we will now continue as before…normal service will resume.”
Kearney then introduced the regular segment, Thought for the Day, and the regular broadcast returned.