June 22, 2017

BBC Breaking News—Ummm, Breaks Down.


Live news broadcast bloopers usually occur when the presenter is in mid-flight.

This was not the case on a recent BBC flagship news hour, when everything went belly-up from the get-go—leaving anchorman Huw Edwards in a frozen state of pandemonium.

When the usual prompts, alerts, and visual intros decided to perform their own dervish dance, there was little Edwards could do but wait out the excruciatingly long four minutes before BBC tech geeks got it together. Oh, and maintain some semblance of professional decorum.

And this he did with quintessential Englishman stoicism.

Sure he twiddled his digits, played with his mouse, and most likely squelched an interior, “Wtf?! But, the man kept his cool.

An honorary knighthood at the next Queen’s Birthday Honours list? Well at the very least, anchorman Edwards deserves live journalism’s highest, “Dude, I Got This” award.

Lighten Up!

And therein lies one of life’s little wisdom lessons: let the disarmingly embarrassing moments have their way—because they will regardless of our protestation and defense mechanisms.


Because that’s how the Divine breaks through to lighten us up and put a a fresh spin on the mundane.

In my recently published book, Do It Anyway: Deep Spirituality Meets Real LifeI reflect on the role of humor in life:

“For me…bloopers are inevitable and, for the most part, well received. And they teach us a number of things. For starters, they serve to disarm the control freaks among us for whom every last detail must be planned and perfectly executed. Secondly, they remind us that life is an undulating journey of surprise and wonder—especially for those who are open and sensitive to the cornucopia of delights it so often and unexpectedly serves up. And lastly, they help us to reflect on the uplifting, self-emptying energy of laughter.

Laughter truly is God’s gift of love to humanity. It’s a great equalizer and stress buster all in one. We all laugh and know the giddy, rippling effect that accompanies a good outburst. This rippling effect is experienced in all highly evolved species—and yes, believe it or not—that includes us! The ripple effect is felt over the diaphragm which guards the heart (seat of the emotions) and nervous system. But it doesn’t stop there. Because it’s a consciousness impulse, it also ripples across the skies, bouncing interplanetarily and intergalactically out into the farthest reaches of infinity! And to think you thought you had snuffed it out in your Kleenex when you let rip (momentarily) at that hilarious moment at your friend’s dinner party, when the uptight host tripped on the rug and disappeared unceremoniously into the dessert table! Oh no—laughter reverberates on, and on, and on.” ~ Chapter 13, “Send In The Clowns”

Humor, clowning, satire, and family-friendly comedy, are as necessary as oxygen to our over-stressed, uptight 21st century mentality. Humor and those who are gifted in dispensing it, are the healers of humankind when all else fails.

As I note in the same chapter from my book:

“Whoever are the clowns in our midst—the chosen ones with the propensity to make us laugh at ourselves—we need to hold in special favor. For they are the ones who mirror our idiosyncrasies and foibles. They are the ones who take the sting out of life and inject healing, endorphin-releasing laughter where it naturally belongs. They are jesters of joy and instigators of spontaneous delight. They are the ones without whom the circus of life—fraught as it is with heartache and loss—can’t go on.”

Kudos to Huw Edwards for hanging in there—trusting that the show somehow would go on. And that, after he had delivered his news report, he could kickback with a cold one, a bag of English crisps, and a cadre of laughter-drunk colleagues on the BBC newsroom floor!


Author: Gerard A. Murphy
Image: YouTube
Editor: Leah Sugerman
Copy Editor: Taia Butler
Social Editor: Callie Rushton

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