When viewers tuned in to the BBC’s News At Ten on Tuesday night they were given the chance to witness a rare and joyous event that’s only possible in a live television broadcast: a major technical fuck-up. After opening with the traditional countdown montage, the program seemed to false start a number of times, cutting back and forth between the “Breaking News” graphic and the eerily silent host Huw Edwards dutifully waiting for his cue. Around the two-minute mark, the producers seemed to just give up on starting the show and simply let Edwards sit in unbroken silence for another two full minutes. Add to that the occasional random camera zoom courtesy of BBC’s robotic camera system, and you’ve got the makings of your very own Vic Berger edit.
The show’s editor, Paul Royall, told The Guardian that there had been a “technical system crash” just seconds before going to air, forcing the director to switch over to a back-up system, which explains all the glitches but doesn’t explain how so much nothingness was allowed to play out in real time. One would think the BBC has a large red button somewhere in their office that says, “Cut to old Doctor Who footage” for just such an occasion.
Though viewers lucky enough to catch the broadcast likely thought the world was ending, everyone involved agrees Edwards handled himself with professionalism as he calmly perused his notes until everyone else got their shit together. After surviving what he called “a very unusual set of circumstances,” Edwards tweeted out a picture of a nice Welsh ale that he had rightfully earned.