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Expert’s Daughter Invades BBC Interview: “Mummy, What’s His Name?”

Expert’s Daughter Invades BBC Interview: “Mummy, What’s His Name?”
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By The Guardian

After more than three months of the pandemic, parents across the country became familiar with the challenges of juggling home working with childcare.

An expert being interviewed on the BBC News channel was interrupted by a young girl waving a picture of a unicorn.

Dr. Clare Wenham was being asked about the issue of local lockdowns in England when her daughter Scarlett appeared on screen and started talking to her.

The assistant professor of global health policy at the London School of Economics gamely continued talking for more than a minute about the issues of getting access to testing data, while Scarlett continued to try to get her attention, eventually climbing on the desk waving her artwork.

Wenham eventually lifted her out of the way and Scarlett walked to the back of the room where she tried to choose the best shelf to display her artwork. Unfazed, the BBC presenter Christian Fraser engaged the little girl in conversation, asked her name and said: “Scarlett, I think it looks best on the lower shelf … and it’s a lovely unicorn.”

After he told her his name, the girl seemed satisfied and left the screen while her mother finished the interview, showing heroic levels of patience and professionalism.

By a surprising coincidence, Wenham was not the only expert having to manage marauding offspring on live television on Wednesday. On Sky News the channel’s foreign affairs editor, Deborah Haynes, was interrupted by her son asking for biscuits. She told him he could have two and then the interview was cut short.

The clips will bring back memories of perhaps the most famous family invasion of a video call, when the North Korea expert Prof Robert E Kelly’s BBC interview in March 2017 was invaded by both his young children, becoming a viral sensation.

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