BBC1’s Breakfast programme was interrupted by a fire alarm this morning as staff including hosts Charlie Stayt and Naga Munchetty were evacuated from the Corporation’s new Media City building in Salford.
Viewers were left confused as the show cut suddenly to a BBC World News piece about crocodiles while the audio from Breakfast’s report on the Giro d’Otalia cycling race visiting Northern Ireland continued over it.
Breakfast was off air for around ten minutes as staff gathered outside following the alarm, which sports presenter Mike Bushell later tweeted was set off by a steam cleaner.
Radio 5 Live’s coverage was also affected, with Nicky Campbell’s show suddenly interrupted by a Karl Pilkington interview as, in the background, listeners could hear an automated voice repeating “Do not use the lifts!”
Campbell tweeted “Sorry. Building evacuated. Alarm. Salford. Five live”, while Bushell later posted “normal service resumed after Salford studios evacuated. Fire alarm went off. False alarm. All safe”.
Earlier, with the cause of the alarm still a mystery, other BBC staff had guilty consciences, with Northwest Tonight presenter Carol Lowe tweeting "The alarm went off at exactly the same time I plugged my earpiece wire into the desk. I thought I'd triggered it!"