Dan Walker forced to apologise for awkward technical issue as MP left hanging

BBC Breakfast presenter Dan Walker was forced to apologise as the show experienced extended technical issues just as they welcomed Work and Pensions Secretary Therese Coffey this morning.

As the BBC morning programme was showing some of its stories of the day, the production team started experiencing some technical issues.

While the show streamed footage of one family the picture froze, and while Dan was trying to introduce his next guest from back in the Manchester studio, the programme couldn’t catch up.

The camera switched back to the studio as Dan fought between embarrassment and giggling over the unexpected change in scheduling.

“Sorry we seem to have had a few issues with our pictures this morning,” he began.

“But I’m hopeful that we’ll be able to see Therese Coffey… I don’t know whether you can hear me? The Work and Pensions Secretary?”

Unfortunately things got even more awkward for a moment as the Conservative MP mistakenly assumed the problem was with their end – as she appeared via video link.

“I can, morning Dan! We’ll go and find somebody,” she said. “One of my friends will go and find somebody who can fix the camera.”

“No it’s our problem!” one studio member at BBC Breakfast shouted out, and a stuttering Dan tried to clarify the situation.

“No we can see you it’s alright, some technical issues at our end,” he continued. “Um, if you’re willing to hang on for a second! We will try and find you in a moment.

Quickly forced to change tack, the presenter told viewers what was coming up on the show instead.

“Um just to let you know what’s happening a little later in the programme – we’re going to be speaking to… the man who… the 24-year-old student who won Mastermind, the youngest ever to win Mastermind,” Dan went on, valiantly maintaining control of the show. “He’s going to be with us at around 8.30 this morning.

“But hopefully we’ve fixed our technical issues now, and we can now see the Work and Pensions Secretary Therese Coffey.”

As business finally resumed as usual, Dan apologised to the Work and Pensions Secretary and his questioning turned into a bit of a grilling.

While Therese repeatedly said she had no new information about whether Prime Minister Boris Johnson had actually paid for the refurbishment to his Downing Street flat – the current debate of the moment – Dan pressed her over and over again.

“The only thing I do know is that the PM has said that he has paid for the expenses of redecoration,” Therese insisted. “I don’t have any other information down that has been shared with me. That’s what the PM said and I take him absolutely at his word.

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“The only info I’m aware of is that the PM made the payment,” Therese carried on.

“It’s unusual for perhaps people to notice that we’ve got two flats in Downing Street, one is used by the PM the other’s used by the Chancellor. And it’s quite usual for redecorations to be done.”

Dan eventually moved on to discuss the guest's topic of choice after a pressured round of questioning.

BBC Breakfast continues weekdays at 6am on BBC One.

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