01 June 2020

Sharma interview interrupted three times by Skype calls

01 June 2020

A Cabinet minister’s interview on national radio was repeatedly interrupted as a caller tried to contact him on Skype.

During Alok Sharma’s appearance on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme he was called three times on the software.

Today presented Nick Robinson identified the cause of the interruption as a Skype ringtone and said it may have been a rival broadcaster trying to get hold of the Business Secretary for an interview.

Sorry about that noise, I hope it’s coming from your end rather than our end

Mr Sharma was discussing the latest developments in the coronavirus crisis with the BBC’s Martha Kearney when the first call came in.

She said: “Sorry about that noise, I hope it’s coming from your end rather than our end.

“Sounds a bit like an alarm you have got going off.”

Mr Sharma apologised and said “I think we have managed to fix it” – only for two further interruptions to occur during the interview.

Afterwards Ms Kearney said “I think we are all curious about what that alarm was for” but Mr Sharma said it was “another programme” before he was cut off.

Mr Robinson said: “I think what he was going to say is that it was a television producer saying ‘you are supposed to be on the telly, Business Secretary’.”

The presenter said it was the sound of the Skype ringtone.

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