BBC’s Nicholas Witchell reveals what happened during live TV ‘brain freeze’

BBC royal reporter Nicholas Witchell described how he "wanted the ground to open and swallow me up" when he froze during a live television broadcast.

The broadcaster said he had a 'brain freeze' while discussing the royal baby on the News at Ten on Monday.

The excruciating clip of Nicholas stumbling over his words quickly went viral on social media.

However, colleagues from the BBC and other television news programmes stood in solidarity with Nicholas, arguing that everyone makes the occasional mistake.

The veteran reporter told the Daily Mail : "I’d memorised, as you do, one minute twenty [seconds] which was supposed to be the duration of the item, and just lost my train of thought.

"It was one of those moments when I wanted the ground to open and swallow me up. It was extremely embarrassing…it was a brain freeze, like for an actor on stage."

Nicholas struggled to find the right words twice during his broadcast on Monday night.

He said: "Now what of their son, Baby Sussex, no name for him so far. The first Anglo-American birth in the British royal family, uh, now we know, of course, that uh…Excuse me, just let me just collect my thoughts."

After a short pause, the journalist continued: "The first Anglo-American birth in the British royal family, and it is… it is certain, of course…I’m so sorry, let me just once again, uh, hand back to you, Ben."

Some raised concerns about Nicholas's health following the gaffe, although others rallied to his defence.

BBC Middle East editor Jeremy Bowen said: "I’ve seen some snide comments about Nick Witchell. Please stop, they’re not deserved.

"He’s a respected and experienced broadcaster, doing his job. I don’t know what happened tonight but it’s certainly no reason to be nasty."

Sky News anchor Kay Burley added: "For those who think they can do a better job than the supreme professional #nickwitchell, I’d like to see you try.

"Doctors bury their mistakes, lawyers jail theirs and TV journalists broadcast theirs. Get off his case and get on with your day."

ITV newsreader Mary Nightingale reiterated that everyone is allowed the odd bad day at work – and said the BBC journalist had not made a mistake in decades.

Nicholas responded to the comments by thanking his colleagues for their support and saying he wanted to avoid repeating the gaffe in the future.

BBC News at Ten editor Paul Royall told viewers that the correspondent was healthy, according to the Daily Mail.

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