Jane Hill, 39, was in the middle of re-reading some old news for the third time when the ticker, normally anchored along the bottom of the screen, overheated and broke free from its slot. ‘Jane was about to hand over to me to read the tedious headlines again when we heard a loud pop and saw a bright white spark in front of our desk,’ said Hill’s co-host Matthew Amroliwala, who was also injured in the incident. ‘The next thing we knew the news ticker was careening around the room in front of us, blinding a cameraman and spewing its vacuous headlines about Michael Jackson’s funeral all over the floor.’
Hill stuck to her position behind the desk, but the news ribbon caught her around the neck and pulled her to the floor, breaking a collarbone and causing second-degree burns. Amroliwala fought to restrain the loose end of the ticker, receiving cuts and burns to his hands, but was otherwise unhurt. Producers refused to cut away during the incident, which has been the only exciting thing to be shown on BBC News 24 since the assassination of Benazir Bhutto in 2007.
‘Once we had the ticker under control, it immediately started to report ‘BBC NEWSREADERS KILLED IN TICKER DRAMA’, which was a bit of an exaggeration,’ Amroliwala told reporters after receiving treatment. ‘I think it was just starved of drama after a week of Michael Jackson stories, and felt that it needed to jazz things up a bit. But I really don’t think throttling Jane Hill is the way to do it.’