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31 Days In May: part 13

More morbid stuff today.

Which BBC programme was interrupted to announce the death of:

1) The Queen Mother
2) Pope John Paul II
3) Princess Diana?



  1. Chris Hughes

    May 15, 2008 at 4:29 pm

    1) Auntie’s Bloomers

    2) Casualty

    3) Not sure – there was a late film interrupted with news of the crash, but the actual announcement of her death came during BBC1’s simulcast of BBC World News.

  2. Matthew Rudd

    May 16, 2008 at 2:34 am

    I bow to the Hughes on this, though I do remember the overnight news service being interrupted/taken mainstream because of the crash. Confirmation of her death wasn’t until 5am though.

  3. Chris Hughes

    May 16, 2008 at 11:47 am

    I’m also angling for a bonus point for knowing that the birth of Prince Harry was announced on a caption during The Tripods.

  4. Ian Jones

    May 16, 2008 at 3:00 pm

    Another bonus point if anyone knows what happened on other BBC TV channels when news broke that the Pope died.

  5. Chris Hughes

    May 16, 2008 at 5:14 pm

    They cut to a clearly unprepared Peter Sissons stumbling through the announcement?

  6. DavidS

    May 16, 2008 at 5:18 pm

    I might be mistaken but I remember BBC One announcing the Pope’s death after Doctor Who (as had coincidentally been the case a week earlier with James Callaghan), which would have been earlier than Casualty. Not sure about other channels -BBC Two would probably have had something like Porridge on at that time.

    Oh, and getting back to Diana, I believe the film was Borsalino starring Alain Delon. Don’t ask me how I remember that, I wasn’t watching it or owt.

  7. Chris Hughes

    May 17, 2008 at 11:00 am

    Ah, I remember now – it was a caption, slung up over The Quatermass Experiment on BBC4.

    There’s some useful information here:

  8. Anonymous

    May 18, 2008 at 3:46 pm

    I was enjoying an episode of Steptoe and Son, which I hadn’t seen before, on BBC2 when it was curtailed by the announcement of the Queen Mother’s death – I still haven’t seen the end of that particular episode… 🙁

  9. Steve Williams

    May 18, 2008 at 6:45 pm

    Course, a few weeks before the Queen Mum, we had Princess Margaret, which happened at 8.30 on a Saturday morning, when News 24 was on BBC2 anyway, but BBC1 interrupted a cartoon to join in, but it was in the middle of its obit, so they had to play the balloons for about two minutes.

    And GMTV did nothing, because nobody’s there on a Saturday morning.

  10. Andy E

    May 19, 2008 at 9:41 am

    The announcement of the outbreak of hostilities in the first Gulf War broke into ITV’s late night Premiership highlights programme – Aston Villa vs Leeds United, to be precise.

  11. mr morbid

    December 22, 2013 at 3:23 am

    I was watching Borselino on the night in question. you may or may not believe this but in the film, there is a funeral scene, and the coffin is loaded into a wooden carriage. As it goes in, the screen fades to black, just as it might as a scene of a film ends. A second goes by- too long a pause for part of a film. Then fade up to the globe and we interrupt tonight’s film for a news announcement:- seriously injured, etc, etc. As I recall, it was all done over the globe by the continuity announcer, more as we get it, etc.

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