BBC could be forced to SHUT down radio or TV stations over coronavirus


THE BBC could be forced to SHUT down radio or TV stations over the coronavirus crisis.

Director General Tony Hall this morning admitted the illness could put services “out of action”, but insisted the broadcaster was desperate to keep everything on the air.

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Tony Hall refused to rule out a reduction in services

His comments came as he was grilled by MPs from the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport select committee.

He said: “We are looking at our resilience, if a service was to be hit for a while what do we do and how do we best manage that.

“We have to make sure our news services keep transmitting on television and on radio, and we are making sure we’ve got every eventuality covered.

“We are gaming out what happens if x per cent of the staff [caught coronavirus] or what happens if there was a case in one of our stations or newsrooms, what would we do and how we would cope with that.”

Asked if the Beeb could be forced to scale back services, Lord Hall added: “There could be- I hope there won’t be, but you could imagine a local station or some other part of our network operations being out of action for a period.”

The corporation honcho revealed the BBC were now looking at “how we could cope with” a being being out of action because of the infection.

The Beeb boss said they were doing all they can

He explained: “At the moment we are intent on keeping absolutely everything open, all our networks going, because we know that globally, nationally and locally, people turn to us for information, as they did during the floods.

“[We want] to make sure we can keep going if some reason there was illness within a team. We’re not planning on anything other than keeping everything going at the moment, but we need to plot just in case something happens.

“The primary purpose is to keep our services going. If we were hit to a very high degree by sickness then our priority is to make sure we have a service people would turn to, and that that service would keep going.”