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Robert Kelly from viral BBC interview tells of horror





Robert Kelly from viral BBC interview tells of horror Robert Kelly from viral BBC interview tells of horror
  • Prof Robert Kelly was being interviewed on live TV on BBC in South Korea 
  • Suddenly his daughter Marion, four, waltzed into the room followed by her baby brother, James, who enters the room under his own power in his walker
  • His wife Jung-a Kim then came skidding into the room and dragged them out 
  • A specialist in US foreign policy in Korea, Prof Kelly said he was mortified 
  • But the #BBCDad realises how 'terribly cute' it was and can see the funny side 

An expert on South Korean politics whose serious interview on the BBC was gaterashed by his curious children and his stressed-out wife has described it as a 'comedy of errors'. 

The hilarious footage went viral after Professor Robert Kelly, questioned about South Korea's president, Park Geun-hye, being ousted from power was eclipsed by the cute little toddler, who performed a comical dance in the background.

Prof Kelly said he usually locked the door of his study but he had forgotten and his daughter Marion swaggered in, wearing a bright yellow sweater.

Prof Kelly (left, with their son James) said the video was 'terribly cute' in hindsight. His wife Jung-a (right, with their daughter Marion) said: 'It happens all the time' Prof Kelly (left, with their son James) said the video was 'terribly cute' in hindsight. His wife Jung-a (right, with their daughter Marion) said: 'It happens all the time'

Prof Kelly (left, with their son James) said the video was 'terribly cute' in hindsight. His wife Jung-a (right, with their daughter Marion) said: 'It happens all the time'

He told the Wall Street Journal: 'As soon as she opened the door I saw her image on my screen. She was in a hippity-hoppity mood that day because of the school party.' 

Prof Kelly, 44, said he gamely tried to continue with the interview but then nine-month-old James tottered into the room. 'Then I knew it was over,' he said. 

To complete the farce, his wife Jung-a Kim then came skidding through the door.

She grabbed the two youngsters and attempted to drag them out of the door, but one of them could be heard wailing and the baby's walker got stuck in the door.

Today he said he wanted to 'clear up rumours' sparked by the hilarious clip, telling a press conference: 'My wife Jung-a did not use too much force in removing the children from the room. People asked this.' 

The South Korean politics expert whose BBC interview was gatecrashed by his two adorable children today spoke out to tell trolls that his wife had not used too much force in dragging them away - and addressed 'racist' assumptions she was his nanny The South Korean politics expert whose BBC interview was gatecrashed by his two adorable children today spoke out to tell trolls that his wife had not used too much force in dragging them away - and addressed 'racist' assumptions she was his nanny

The South Korean politics expert whose BBC interview was gatecrashed by his two adorable children today spoke out to tell trolls that his wife had not used too much force in dragging them away - and addressed 'racist' assumptions she was his nanny

Today Prof Kelly said he wanted to 'clear up rumours' sparked by the hilarious clip, telling a press conference: 'My wife Jung-a did not use too much force in removing the children from the room. People asked this.' Today Prof Kelly said he wanted to 'clear up rumours' sparked by the hilarious clip, telling a press conference: 'My wife Jung-a did not use too much force in removing the children from the room. People asked this.'

Today Prof Kelly said he wanted to 'clear up rumours' sparked by the hilarious clip, telling a press conference: 'My wife Jung-a did not use too much force in removing the children from the room. People asked this.'

'Our children were not hurt... we normally do not treat our children the way you saw in the clip.' 

He added: 'We would like to clear up some of the rumours and controversies around the video. Yes, the woman in the video is my wife, not my nanny.'

Prof Kelly, 44, also revealed he was so anxious after the 'disaster' that he had apologised to the BBC and thought his career as an interviewer was over.

The hilarious footage went viral on Friday after Professor Robert Kelly, questioned about South Korea's president, Park Geun-hye, being ousted from power was eclipsed by Marion, aged four, who performed a comical dance in the background.

She was followed by little brother James,  aged just nine months, who swept in to the study in a fast-moving baby walker. Moments later a stressed-out Jung-a skidded into the room and grappled the children out of shot.

Prof Kelly's daughter Marion burst into the room in a bright yellow top and performed a hilarious dance behind him Prof Kelly's daughter Marion burst into the room in a bright yellow top and performed a hilarious dance behind him

Prof Kelly's daughter Marion burst into the room in a bright yellow top and performed a hilarious dance behind him

Sitting alongside his wife and two children today, with Marion sucking a lolly and James munching on a rusk, Prof Kelly was keen to defend his wife against mean-spirited comments. He said:'It is quite apparent in the video that she is frantically trying to salvage the professionalism of the interview.

'When Marian our daughter speaks in the clip she says in Korean 'Why mum' because she was responding surprise because we do not usually treat out children the way you saw in the clip.' 

The video has been viewed 84 million times on the BBC's Facebook page, the hashtag #BBCDad was trending on Twitter and the story has been covered by media from Uruguay to Australia.

Prof Kelly, who is from Cleveland Ohio, focused entirely on the camera as he attempted to blindly hand off his daughter, who was clearly curious about who he was talking to.

His mortification soon doubled as baby James excitedly made his way into the room under his own power in a walker. 

Both parties tried to keep their cool despite the hilarious interruption from his children Both parties tried to keep their cool despite the hilarious interruption from his children

Both parties tried to keep their cool despite the hilarious interruption from his children

His mortification doubled as his baby son excitedly made his way into the room in a stroller His mortification doubled as his baby son excitedly made his way into the room in a stroller

His mortification doubled as his baby son excitedly made his way into the room in a stroller

Eventually, she managed to get them both out, and the interview continued. 

When the interview finished, broadcaster James Menendez told him: 'There's a first time for everything. I think you've got some children who need you!'

Prof Kelly admitted today he was mortified at the time but in hindsight he could see the funny side.

He said his feelings about the incident had gone from 'surprise and embarrassment' to 'amusement' and finally 'love and affection'.

'It was terribly cute. I saw the video like everybody else and it's really funny,' said Prof Kelly. 

He said the reaction on social media had been astonishing - and mostly positive - and he had been forced to switch off Twitter and Facebook alerts and put his phone on airplane mode. 

'I'm not even going near YouTube or Reddit or whatever those other sites are,' said Prof Kelly.

Prof Kelly and his wife Jung-a have seen the funny side of it since the story went viral but at the time they were both horrified with embarrassment Prof Kelly and his wife Jung-a have seen the funny side of it since the story went viral but at the time they were both horrified with embarrassment

Prof Kelly and his wife Jung-a have seen the funny side of it since the story went viral but at the time they were both horrified with embarrassment

 

His wife Jung-a told the Wall Street Journal: 'It happens all the time but not like this. This was the first time it happened during an interview.' 

In the immediate aftermath of the video going viral many people on social media assumed she was his nanny or maid, rather than his wife. 

Some people accused those who assumed she was the nanny of being racist, leading to some fairly aggressive Twitter fights. 

In an interview with the BBC today Prof Kelly said: 'We were pretty uncomfortable with it.'

But Jung-a played it down and said: 'People should just enjoy it, not argue over these things. I hope they stop arguing.' 

Prof Kelly said he was 'uncomfortable' with the fact that many people jumped to the conclusion she was his nanny, rather than his wife, but she said people should 'stop arguing' about it Prof Kelly said he was 'uncomfortable' with the fact that many people jumped to the conclusion she was his nanny, rather than his wife, but she said people should 'stop arguing' about it

Prof Kelly said he was 'uncomfortable' with the fact that many people jumped to the conclusion she was his nanny, rather than his wife, but she said people should 'stop arguing' about it

Prof Kelly also spiked rumours on the Internet that he had not been wearing trousers during the interview Prof Kelly also spiked rumours on the Internet that he had not been wearing trousers during the interview

Prof Kelly also spiked rumours on the Internet that he had not been wearing trousers during the interview

He added: 'I was not shoving Marion out of the way. When I tried to move her behind the chair. I was trying to slide Marion behind the chair because we have toys and books in the room.

'My hope was that she would play with the books for a few moments until the interview ended.' 

He said they had initially been overwhelmed by the 'blooper' but were now able to laugh at it.

'My wife and I did not fight after the blooper, we did not punish our children. In fact, we thought that no television network would ever call us again.' 

'We thought it was just a disaster,' said Kelly.

'I communicated with the BBC immediately afterward and I apologised to them. I said that if they never called us back or never asked me to be on television again, I would understand.'

More formal pose: Robert Kelly and his wife Jung-a and daughter Marion - who started the interruption which created a viral sensation. More formal pose: Robert Kelly and his wife Jung-a and daughter Marion - who started the interruption which created a viral sensation.

More formal pose: Robert Kelly and his wife Jung-a and daughter Marion - who started the interruption which created a viral sensation.

Possibly the most hilarious moment in the farce was when his wife came skidding through the door to take the children off camera Possibly the most hilarious moment in the farce was when his wife came skidding through the door to take the children off camera

Possibly the most hilarious moment in the farce was when his wife came skidding through the door to take the children off camera

Prof Kelly could be seen squirming in his chair as his wife grabbed the youngsters and attempted to drag them out of the door, with one of them wailing and the baby's walker stuck in the door Prof Kelly could be seen squirming in his chair as his wife grabbed the youngsters and attempted to drag them out of the door, with one of them wailing and the baby's walker stuck in the door

Prof Kelly could be seen squirming in his chair as his wife grabbed the youngsters and attempted to drag them out of the door, with one of them wailing and the baby's walker stuck in the door

The hilarious footage was first tweeted by BBC producer Julia MacFarlane, who promptly deleted it 20 minutes later.  

She wrote: 'When the kids interrupt you in the middle of live TV...A lovely moment and masterfully handled by our guest this morning on South Korea'. 

Asked about becoming a 'poster child' for working fathers trying to balance office commitments with family life, he said today: 'You have to be flexible. For example, this was my home office space and normally I hope that my children don't come in; I can get more work done. 

'But we want our children to feel comfortable coming into the room and being able to approach their father. And that means you can't keep that strict boundary where some rooms are off limits.' 

Addressing rumours he didn't stand up because he was wearing pajamas or pantsm he said: 'Yes, I was wearing pants! Someone at lunch recognised me today and asked me if I was wearing pants. 

BBC correspondent Rajini Vaidyanathan revels in the return of the #BBCDad and his family BBC correspondent Rajini Vaidyanathan revels in the return of the #BBCDad and his family

BBC correspondent Rajini Vaidyanathan revels in the return of the #BBCDad and his family

A BBC spokesman told MailOnline: 'We're really grateful to Professor Kelly for his professionalism. This just goes to show that live broadcasting isn't always child's play.' 

A highly respected expert on South Korean politics, Prof Kelly has written for outlets including Foreign Affairs, The European Journal Of International Relations and The Economist.

He earned his bachelors degree in political science from the University of Miami and completed his PhD at Ohio State.  

The incident, trending as #BBCDad, led to a spate of memes and parodies The incident, trending as #BBCDad, led to a spate of memes and parodies

The incident, trending as #BBCDad, led to a spate of memes and parodies

And after the segment had finished, the presenter admitted on Twitter that he had struggled to keep it together during the episode  And after the segment had finished, the presenter admitted on Twitter that he had struggled to keep it together during the episode 

And after the segment had finished, the presenter admitted on Twitter that he had struggled to keep it together during the episode 

No sooner had the interview been broadcast that people were clamouring to share the clip online and Prof Kelly soon realised it was about to go viral  No sooner had the interview been broadcast that people were clamouring to share the clip online and Prof Kelly soon realised it was about to go viral 

No sooner had the interview been broadcast that people were clamouring to share the clip online and Prof Kelly soon realised it was about to go viral 

The stuff of memes: The internet was quick to react to the hilarious clip with Twitter users uploading and sharing memes The stuff of memes: The internet was quick to react to the hilarious clip with Twitter users uploading and sharing memes

The stuff of memes: The internet was quick to react to the hilarious clip with Twitter users uploading and sharing memes

Another meme captured the exact moment despairing Professor Kelly realised his daughter was in the room and tried to nudge her out of shot Another meme captured the exact moment despairing Professor Kelly realised his daughter was in the room and tried to nudge her out of shot

Another meme captured the exact moment despairing Professor Kelly realised his daughter was in the room and tried to nudge her out of shot

Only a tiny minority on social media did not see the funny side Only a tiny minority on social media did not see the funny side

Only a tiny minority on social media did not see the funny side

Kelly's mother Ellen told DailyMail.com the clip was 'hilarious' and she had spoken to her son just as it started to become an internet sensation. 

'First my sister called and then we spoke to Robert, who was a little disturbed - probably just embarrassed,' she said.

Mrs Kelly said she thought it was 'fantastic' and 'the best part' was when his wife came skidding into shot.

Ellen Kelly, 72, with her husband, Joseph, spoke to DailyMail.com and said she could be the reason behind the gaffe. She said that she regularly Skypes with the children and that 'the kids probably heard voices coming from the computer and assumed it was grandma' Ellen Kelly, 72, with her husband, Joseph, spoke to DailyMail.com and said she could be the reason behind the gaffe. She said that she regularly Skypes with the children and that 'the kids probably heard voices coming from the computer and assumed it was grandma'

Ellen Kelly, 72, with her husband, Joseph, spoke to DailyMail.com and said she could be the reason behind the gaffe. She said that she regularly Skypes with the children and that 'the kids probably heard voices coming from the computer and assumed it was grandma'

Mrs Kelly, from University Heights, just outside Cleveland, told DailyMail.com she was exceptionally proud of her son and all of his accomplishments, and said he was a 'wonderful' and committed father.

She and her husband Joseph often Skype him, his wife and the two children.

She said: 'Robert usually Skypes with us from his home office, which is where he did the interview.

'The kids probably heard voices coming from the computer and assumed it was us,' she said laughing. 'It was just hilarious'.

Mrs Kelly, 72, said her son, who is an expert on South Korean politics, has done a number of interviews on network television for other outlets, including CNN, as well as CNBC, Sky News, and ITN.

She said: 'I just hope that he gains recognition for his expertise rather than for this - as great as it all is.'

 'Life happens,' she said, laughing. 'The lesson is to lock the door!'

After the segment finished on Friday Menendez admitted on Twitter he had struggled to keep it together.

He posted a link to the video, with the words: 'Hard to keep a straight face.'

Afterwards, he added: 'It was the desperate reach for the door at the end that nearly did it for me.'

OTHER AMUSING BBC NEWS FAILS 

The wrong Guy 

Arguably the most infamous of BBC News fails happened back in 2006, when a business graduate named Guy Goma arrived at the BBC studios in London to be interviewed for a job in the IT department.

Meanwhile British technology expert Guy Kewney was in the reception area preparing for a live interview on the court case between Apple computers and the Apple Corps record company. 

Business graduate Guy Goma arrived at the BBC studios to be interviewed for a job in the IT department but found himself being mistaken for someone else and interview on live TV Business graduate Guy Goma arrived at the BBC studios to be interviewed for a job in the IT department but found himself being mistaken for someone else and interview on live TV

Business graduate Guy Goma arrived at the BBC studios to be interviewed for a job in the IT department but found himself being mistaken for someone else and interview on live TV

The producer selected the wrong Guy from the wrong reception area and brought the business grad in for what he believed to be his job interview.

But moments later Goma found himself being asked difficult questions with a camera in his face.

Hoping to do a professional job and impress his potential employers, Goma decided to have a good go at answering the questions put to him and captured the hearts of the nation.

Another mistaken identity causes humiliation

In January, two BBC presenters were left red faced after a mix up which saw an academic confused with a mountain climber on live TV.

Rachel Burden and Jon Kay introduced their next guest as mountaineer Leslie Binns, only to discover the man sitting on the sofa was political scientist Todd Landman, who was there to discuss relations between the US and Russia.

Realising the blunder, Ms Burden said, as the cameras rolled: 'It is ever so funny, I looked at this man and thought he doesn't necessarily look like a mountaineer.'

When the camera panned to Professor Landman, the bemused expert said: 'I think you have the wrong guest Sir.'

Mr Kay then asked: 'Do you have any heroic stories to tell us?'

Prof Landman responded: 'I have lots of heroic stories but not involving Everest.'

The iPad that looked suspiciously like a stack of paper

Simon McCoy left viewers baffled in 2013 when he introduced a feature about 'drunk tanks' by holding something slightly less technical.

The 51-year-old broadcaster had intended to pick up his trusted iPad when the cameras prepared to roll in the BBC studios - but instead grabbed a pack of photocopier paper.

Viewers saw McCoy holding the packet in a full-length shot as he hosted the item live on the rollling BBC News channel without any explanation.

But the BBC later said he had picked it up by mistake.

Although he realised his error, McCoy didn't have time to swap his paper for the expensive gadget and instead 'went with it'.

Viewers spotted that BBC News presenter Simon McCoy had picked up a pack of paper as a prop instead of an iPad by mistake Viewers spotted that BBC News presenter Simon McCoy had picked up a pack of paper as a prop instead of an iPad by mistake

Viewers spotted that BBC News presenter Simon McCoy had picked up a pack of paper as a prop instead of an iPad by mistake

 'Erm, well this is clearly the wrong picture' 

In October last year, producers accidentally used a picture of fugitive London Zoo gorilla Kumbuka to illustrate a story about Scotland's First Minister Nicola Sturgeon.

BBC Breakfast presenter Naga Munchetty was telling viewers they would be joined by Ms Sturgeon later in the programme when footage of the 7ft-tall 29st gorilla, which escaped from its enclosure that week, was shown on the screen.

The TV anchor, who hosts BBC Breakfast alongside Charlie Stayt, burst into a fit of giggles after the photo of the gorilla was shown to promote an upcoming interview with the Scottish first minister.

London Zoo gorilla Kumbuka 
Nicola Sturgeon 

 

 

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Chuka (Webby) Aniemeka

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