Fans of the comic Viz will remember Roger Mellie, the foul-mouthed Man on the Telly, with his trade mark greeting ‘Hello, good evening and b*****ks!’
In real life, Obiter has always admired TV colleagues for their ability to keep it clean when close to an open mic. Most of the time, anyway. But last week the very serious business of the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal hearing into allegations of misconduct against Phil Shiner was interrupted by a colourful live commentary from a BBC reporter.
Interspersed with crackles and buzzes we heard: ‘The human rights lawyer Phil Shiner has … (cue profanity)’ … can I start again?
‘Phil Shiner has admitted to…(profanity), sorry!’
It turned out that the tribunal’s PA system was picking up interference from BBC equipment on the street below, offering the panel and humble print journalists several insights into what goes on behind the scenes at Auntie’s house.
Apart from profanities the press covering the tribunal also enjoyed hearing of a BBC colleague’s imminent departure: ‘She’s off to Ofcom,’ apparently. The news was met with an exclamation from the reporter’s colleague that would not have been permissible before the watershed.
Alas, just as the gossip was getting interesting, the tribunal’s handyman stepped in to fix the interference.