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Monday, October 31, 2011

BBC staff are trained on correct way to announce death of Queen in bid to avoid another embarrassing gaffe

By Daily Mail Reporter

Presenters Edwards and Witchell lead the mock preparations for the Queen's death

BBC staff are being trained on the correct way to report the Queen's death in a bid to avoid another embarrassing gaffe.

The Corporation was heavily criticised in the wake of the death of the Queen Mother after veteran Peter Sissons went on air in a grey suit and burgundy tie.

Staff at the organisation's College Of Journalism have been shown mock videos featuring Huw Edwards announcing that the Queen has passed away.

A BBC source told the Sunday Times: 'Like all news organisations, the BBC has plans in place.

'We provide training to ensure staff understand what would be expected.'

BBC chiefs hope the Royal funeral training will avoid a repeat of the faux pas by former newsreader Peter Sissons, who in 2002, pronounced the Queen Mother's death, dressed in a grey suit accompanied with a burgundy tie.

In the aftermath of her death, the BBC switchboard received numerous complaints from audiences over the handling of the announcement, worsened by rival broadcaster ITV, were presenters adhered to the traditional black tie attire for the broadcast.

The BBC has since changed its policy and reporters will be instructed to wear dark coloured suits, with the male broadcasters in white shirts and black ties as a mark or respect.

Fashion faux pas: Sissons was later criticised for not wearing a black tie as he announced the death of the Queen Mother

Sissons' gaffe is not the first time the BBC has come under fire from the royals, with Prince Charles famously caught slating Witchell during a press-call at the ski resort of Klosters in 2005.

Witchell, who has been the BBC's royal correspondent for the last 13 years, riled Prince Charles after asking him how his sons, Princes William and Harry felt about his decision to marry Duchess of Cornwall, Camilla Parker Bowles.

Caught in the act: Prince Charles berates BBC journalist Nicholas Witchell

Staff were informed of the change in BBC schedule that will coincide with the Queen's death.

Following the announcement, the national anthem will be screened in the backdrop whilst television screens display a picture of the royal.

Meanwhile, with the funeral expected to take place 12 days following her passing, the BBC will suspend all comedy shows across its channels until after the burial.



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