BBC Radio 4 temporarily drops off air during Today Programme

The show was off air for around 20 minutes due to an alarm.

CHELTENHAM, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 10:  Nick Robinson, BBC Political Editor, at the Cheltenham Literature Festival on October 10, 2015 in Cheltenham, England.  (Photo by David Levenson/Getty Images)

The BBC’s Today programme on Radio 4 temporarily dropped off air on Monday morning after an alarm interrupted the broadcast.


The news bulletin was interrupted by an alarm just after 7:30am, which could be heard announcing: “Please leave the building immediately by the nearest exit.”

“You may be able to hear we have a little alarm going on here,” broadcaster Nick Robinson told listeners as the sound continued in the background.

His fellow presenter, Martha Kearney, said that they would try to “carry on for a little bit” before a loud alarm started whirring. “Well, maybe it’s going to be quite hard to carry on with this alarm going on in the background,” she said, adding that she once had to leave the building during a show due to a fire.

Robinson introduced a pre-recorded report as the alarm continued whirring in the background and then the broadcast dropped off air until 7:55am.

Robinson tweeted a picture of himself and Martha Kearney to confirm staff were back inside the studio, alongside the caption: “Well that was interesting. Emergency over. If there was one… we’re now back in the studio.”

Kearney then returned on air and announced: “As the world news fades down, Nick and I are back in the studio.”

Robinson went on: “Despite that noise you may have heard saying there was an emergency, as far as we can tell there wasn’t actually an emergency. We have to follow procedures and we did, and we were outside in the cold for a little while but we are relieved to be back on the Today programme.

“Normal service is being resumed.”

Kearney then moved on to the regular segment, Thought for the Day, and the normal broadcast resumed.

The alarm also disrupted output on the BBC’s World Service, as well as BBC Sounds, with the mobile app having difficulties playing live shows this morning.


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