« Topics
1234...232425
Alan de Robson36 posts since 8 Aug 2012
Tyne Tees Look North (North East)
Operation London Bridge: the secret plan for the days after the Queen’s death

Quote:
The newsreaders will wear black suits and black ties. Category one was made for her. Programmes will stop. Networks will merge. BBC 1, 2 and 4 will be interrupted and revert silently to their respective idents – an exercise class in a village hall, a swan waiting on a pond – before coming together for the news. Listeners to Radio 4 and Radio 5 live will hear a specific formulation of words, “This is the BBC from London,” which, intentionally or not, will summon a spirit of national emergency.


Fascinating Gruniad article on how the nation, including the media, would respond to the death of the Queen.

To this day, the thing I remember the most about the death of Princess Diana, media-wise, is "This is BBC Television from London. Normal programmes have been suspended". There was something very ominous and end-of-the-world about it.
9
VMPhil7,143 posts since 31 Mar 2005
Granada North West Today
When Diana died, BBC1 and BBC2 both took the same ident and announcement with a generic BBC logo* (I believe some on here have said it was called the 'family ident'). By the time of the Queen Mother's death though the policy had changed and both channels introduced the news with their own idents and announcer (with BBC Two infamously getting the timing wrong and having to wait several minutes on a static ident).

Sounds as though that is still the policy, but would the death be officially announced after 7pm when BBC Four is on? How long would they delay the news if it happened later at night?

*gratuitous plug: https://telly.site/diana/
1
Caly123 gave kudos
Blake Connolly1,498 posts since 21 Apr 2001
London London
When Diana died, BBC1 and BBC2 both took the same ident and announcement with a generic BBC logo* (I believe some on here have said it was called the 'family ident'). By the time of the Queen Mother's death though the policy had changed and both channels introduced the news with their own idents and announcer (with BBC Two infamously getting the timing wrong and having to wait several minutes on a static ident).

Sounds as though that is still the policy, but would the death be officially announced after 7pm when BBC Four is on? How long would they delay the news if it happened later at night?

*gratuitous plug: https://telly.site/diana/


Unless anything has changed in the last couple of years, the article is incorrect on that detail and the procedure for going into the initial news bulletin is not the same as it was in 2002.

Yes, it would still be announced after 7pm, I'm not sure what the cut-off point is before it would be left until 8am the next morning (8am has always sounded quite late to me but it is what has been reported in various places), probably something like 10 or 11pm. And, supposedly, it won't be announced until the next day if it happens on Christmas Day.
1
VMPhil gave kudos
Inspector Sands10,629 posts since 25 Aug 2004
Always wonder what the point of these codewords are if they're published in articles?


Incidently I wonder why both the Guardian and that TVam Twitter account both thought to do something about royal obits within a day of each other. Do they know something we don't? Shocked
Last edited by Inspector Sands on 16 March 2017 11:26am
1
bilky asko gave kudos
UKnews389 posts since 26 Apr 2011
A very good, clearly well sourced, article. The broadcast parts tie up with the (outline) knowledge I have of 'London Bridge', albeit with a couple of minor errors - RATS is a BBC local radio system (not used in London) and it was IRN, not the BBC, who didn't 'press the button' properly when the Queen Mother died. (Leading to a great comment on a broadcast forum from an angry local radio employee about how the people at IRN "couldn't tell the difference between buttons that said 'Hot Soup' and 'Dead Royal' ")

Among colleagues I've spoken to today there is some surprise about the level of detail in the article - one said "they've blown the whole thing". In the meetings / briefings I've been in where its been discussed the confidential nature of the plan has always been emphasised, the 'code name' spoken of in slightly hushed tones. There is an overall term for royal death plans that isn't mentioned in the article and I'm not about to reveal that! I guess with the amount of people - working for broadcasters and elsewhere - who know of the plans a leak eventually was inevitable. Its the scale and detail thats surprising.
Whataday7,176 posts since 13 Sep 2001
HTV Wales Wales Today
Interesting, if slightly eerie read.

I'm not sure the controlled channels of communication would be as effective in practice, with social media as it is.

Would never have thought for a second that experts are already contracted to certain news outlets - presumably they get a small retainer fee for this.

I can't help but feel the "exercise class in a village hall" was added with tongue in cheek.
2
Richard and Si-Co gave kudos