BBC News was blasted after accidentally airing an insensitive comment during a segment on Keith Chegwin’s death.
The presenter and entertainer died following a battle with progressive lung condition idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, on Monday (11 December).
The BBC News channel reported the story, and when they linked to a weather report, someone could be audibly heard saying: “Too much smoking probably.”
The moment was picked up by some on social media, who expressed their distaste at the remark:
Did I just hear ‘too much smoking probably’ on @BBCNews from one of your producers when referring to Keith Chegwin? #badtaste pic.twitter.com/sv2IThcDbU — Philip Godfrey (@philip_godfrey) December 11, 2017
Extremely ashamed at @BBCNews @BBCOne A tragic report that Keith Chegwin has sadly passed away from ongoing lung issues, only to hear a big gaffe as someone can be heard saying…”Too much smoking probably” #ShameOnYou
December 11, 2017
Could not believe what I was hearing on the tele news yesterday. I thought OMG. He’s talking about Keith death.
Obviously one of those fuckwits that doesn’t realise lung disease predates smoking. I have chronic acid reflux, that puts me in the groups likely to get the same thing as Keith Chegwin
December 12, 2017
The BBC has since responded to the matter, with a spokesperson telling HuffPost UK: “During a live interview the studio had a sound issue with a guest which resulted in off air audio being inadvertently broadcast and it was quickly rectified.”
The condition Keith had, IPF, is one that causes progressive scarring of the lungs, which become stiffer and lose their elasticity, making it harder for them to take in oxygen.
It’s estimated that 6,000 people are diagnosed with IPF every year in the UK, with men and those over 70 more likely to be affected.
Following news of Keith’s dead, his other ‘Swap Shop’ co-stars Noel Edmonds and Maggie Philbin issued their own emotional statements in tribute to him.
Noel said: “I’ve lost my first real telly chum and I’m certain I’m not alone in shedding tears for a true telly legend.”
Maggie, who was married to Keith from 1982 to 1993, also said: “Keith was a one-off – full of life, generous and with a focus on things that mattered – his family.
“He leaves us all with very special memories.”