BBC Dad, meet BBC Mom: Two more cute kids crash live on-air interviews

One wanted guidance on placing her unicorn picture, while the other just needed cookies.

Gael Cooper
CNET editor Gael Fashingbauer Cooper, a journalist and pop-culture junkie, is co-author of "Whatever Happened to Pudding Pops? The Lost Toys, Tastes and Trends of the '70s and '80s," as well as "The Totally Sweet '90s." She's been a journalist since 1989, working at Mpls.St.Paul Magazine, Twin Cities Sidewalk, the Minneapolis Star Tribune, and NBC News Digital. She's Gen X in birthdate, word and deed. If Marathon candy bars ever come back, she'll be first in line.
Expertise Breaking news, entertainment, lifestyle, travel, food, shopping and deals, product reviews, money and finance, video games, pets, history, books, technology history, generational studies. Credentials
  • Co-author of two Gen X pop-culture encyclopedia for Penguin Books. Won "Headline Writer of the Year"​ award for 2017, 2014 and 2013 from the American Copy Editors Society. Won first place in headline writing from the 2013 Society for Features Journalism.
Gael Cooper
2 min read

Working from home is hard.

Video screenshot by Gael Fashingbauer Cooper/CNET

British kids sure know how to liven up a televised parental work moment.  On Wednesday, Dr. Clare Wenham, assistant professor of global health policy at the London School of Economics and Political Science, was discussing local coronavirus lockdowns in an interview on the BBC News Channel when her young daughter, Scarlett, decided to chime in.

Scarlett had a framed unicorn picture that she was eager to place on a bookshelf, and she needed her mother's opinion on exactly where it should go, popping up in front of the camera and climbing over mom's desk. BBC journalist Christian Fraser, a dad himself, took it in stride. He asked Scarlett's name, introduced himself when she inquired and even weighed in on the all-important interior decoration question.

"Scarlett, I think it looks best on the lower shelf," Fraser said. "And it's a lovely unicorn."

Social-media seemed to enjoy the break from serious news. "Absolute scenes on the BBC News Channel," tweeted TV critic Scott Bryan.

Broadcaster Lauren Laverne saw a career ahead for Scarlett, writing, "rewatching and wondering if unicorn placement updates could be a potential half hourly bulletin on my @bbc6music show."

And Wenham replied, "Interior Design with Scarlett. I can make that happen."

Scarlett wasn't even the only kid interrupter that day. A similar event happened when Sky News foreign affairs editor Deborah Haynes was trying to talk about recent changes to Hong Kong law, and her young son wandered in asking for biscuits (that's cookies, to Americans). 

Haynes later tweeted, "Thank you for the lovely comments after my son's impromptu appearance mid-live-broadcast. I can confirm that his high-stakes negotiating skills netted him two chocolate digestives."

Scarlett's not the first child of a BBC interview subject to steal the show. Professor Robert Kelly earned the nickname "BBC Dad" back in 2017 when his two kids invaded the Skype interview he was conducting with the BBC. First, 4-year-old daughter Marion strutted in, then 8-month-old James followed in his rolling walker. Last, Kelly's wife, Jung-a Kim, desperately yanked the kids back out. The family reminisced about their viral fame earlier this year.

Kelly himself even weighed in Wednesday, getting on top of the inevitable conspiracy theorists. 

"I am amazed that so many people still believe we faked the 'BBC Dad' incident," Kelly tweeted. "We did not."