BBC One viewers were left perplexed on Monday evening as the channel vanished off air for more than 10 minutes – leaving the continuity announcer to ad lib updates.
The glitch occurred before the screening of BBC Panorama documentary Can Biden Unite America? – casting an error message onto millions of TVs around the country which read: “We are sorry for the break in this programme and are trying to correct the fault.”
The BBC voiceover, usually responsible for guiding the smooth transition from one programme to the next, was forced to apologise and explain the malfunction to audiences.
He told viewers that the broadcaster was suffering from a “major technical problem.”
The announcer stated: “Well, I am sorry we are having a problem bringing you Panorama tonight. We will try to get it to you as soon as we possibly can.”
He later added: “Do bear with us, as I keep on saying, we are trying to get the problem sorted” before admitting “we are having quite a night of it here.”
A spokesman for the BBC said: “Unfortunately major technical issues delayed the start of Panorama this evening.
“The BBC One schedule is now running five minutes late – we apologise to viewers for the disruption.”