Live television is something that organisations need to cover breaking news. But it also has some minor pitfalls – like what to do when someone interrupts your interview.
That’s exactly the scenario that BBC reporter Ben Brown endured while trying to cover Labour’s manifesto launch in Bradford.
Ben was interviewing the BBC’s assistant political editor, Norman Smith, when a member of the public came into their live shot.
She gave the camera the big thumbs up and said ‘absolutely fantastic‘. Now, our protagonist, Ben, tried to be the astute professional by palming her off, but unfortunately, he had fairly poor hand placement.
In his defence, it’s difficult to maintain your composure during a live TV interview, so it’s not as if he did it on purpose.
The woman, clearly annoyed – either that she had been accidentally groped – or not given her 15 seconds of fame, slaps Ben on the shoulder and walks off in a huff.
Brown took to Twitter to address the “unfortunate interruption”, assuring readers he did not intend to touch the woman’s breast.
Unfortunate interruption of broadcast in Bradford – just tried to minimise disruption but v tricky live on air – completely unintentional
— Ben Brown (@BenBrownBBC) May 16, 2017
The encounter nevertheless has sparked outcry on Twitter, with some users accusing Brown of assault.
@BenBrownBBC I just watched it several times. You had a good squeeze of her breast; sexual assault in my book. Disgusting. 😢😪
— Σκώτος κορίτσι (@ZkotosKoritsi) May 16, 2017
@BenBrownBBC You shouldn’t have touched her at all. You’ve no right to. BBC don’t own a public space. Shame on you!
— nobody (@jst_a_statistic) May 16, 2017
@BenBrownBBC Unintentional or not, I think an apology is in order.
— Jill Hayward (@frdragonspouse) May 16, 2017
Others have defended Brown, with one person counter arguing the woman committed assault by hitting him.
@BenBrownBBC That is very obvious it was unintentional. Why do people want to interupt live broadcasts?!
— LondonLovesBusiness (@LondonLovesBiz) May 16, 2017
@BenBrownBBC Ben it was clearly an accident and you were concentrating on trying to do your job. Ignore the morons intent on finding evil in everyone.
— sawboinsider (@sawboinsider) May 16, 2017
— bluesoup (@bluesoup) May 16, 2017
While some took the situation in a funny way
— Bill (@PriorConstruct) May 16, 2017
— Mick Convey (@nalaknip) May 16, 2017