Viewers were left baffled today after a man’s voice was heard on BBC News making a throwaway comment about Keith Chegwin’s death on air.
The legendary entertainer’s family announced on Monday he’d passed away at the age of 60 following a long battle with a lung condition.
Just after a report on Chegwin’s passing aired at around 2.30pm, an unidentified man’s voice was overheard remarking: “Too much smoking, probably.”
It’s unclear who the voice belonged to or just why it was broadcast.
There appeared to be some technical difficulties as the show had cut to the weather forecast following the report on Chegwin’s death, but it sounded faint on air, while the mysterious man’s voice was clear and audible.
The gaffe didn’t go unnoticed by BBC viewers, with one tweeting: “Did I just hear ‘too much smoking probably’ on BBC News from one of your producers when referring to Keith Chegwin?
It has not been confirmed whether it was a producer or someone else who made the comment.
Another tweeted: “Extremely ashamed at BBC News. A tragic report that Keith Chegwin has sadly passed away from ongoing lung issues, only to hear a big gaffe as someone can be heard saying…”Too much smoking probably”
A third simply said: “That is disgraceful.”
A BBC spokesperson told The Mirror: “During a live interview the studio had a sound issue with a guest which resulted in off air audio being inadvertently broadcast and it was quickly rectified.”
Chegwin’s family announced his death in a statement today.
It read: “We are heartbroken to share the news that Keith Chegwin sadly passed away following a long-term battle with a progressive lung condition, idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, which rapidly worsened towards the end of this year.
“Keith died peacefully at home shortly after midnight on the 11th of December. His wife Maria, his daughter Rose and his son Ted were by his side.
“We would like to take this opportunity to thank Severn Hospice for the kindness, support and care they have shown us all over the last few weeks.
“Keith was a loving husband, father, son, brother, uncle and friend. We would respectfully ask to be left to mourn his passing in private.”
Keith – nicknamed Cheggers – was best known for hosting programmes including children’s game show Cheggers Plays Pop and Swap Shop, and also made appearances on Extras and Celebrity Big Brother.
A slew of celebrities have been paying tribute to the beloved star.
Among them was Noel Edmonds, who said: “I’ve lost my first real telly chum and I’m certain I’m not alone in shedding tears for a true telly legend.
“The greatest achievement for any TV performer is for the viewers to regard you as a friend and today millions will be grateful for Keith’s contribution to their childhood memories and like me they will mourn the passing of a friend.”
Others who have been expressing their shock and sadness include Phillip Schofield, Tony Blackburn, Paddy McGuinness and Chris Evans.