Confused anti-vaccine protesters stormed what they thought was a large BBC building on Monday, apparently unaware that the institution had largely withdrawn nearly a decade ago.
Instead of targeting the BBC news operation, which they took responsibility for promoting Covid-19 vaccines, a few protesters managed to get to the West London Television Centre, which ITV now rents mostly to film its daytime shows like Good Morning Britain and This Morning.
The BBC vacated the circular building in 2013 and it has since been converted into apartments and a private club for members.
The BBC has maintained three studios on site under its for-profit commercial arm Studioworks, which are largely leased to other broadcasters and provide the permanent base for many ITV shows. However, the vast majority of the BBC’s staff in London and its news operations are located within 8 km of the Corporation’s broadcasting station on Portland Place.
Loose Woman co-host Charlene White thanked the security team who kept protesters out of the studio while her ITV show aired on Monday afternoon.
“I’m not sure what the protesters were hoping to achieve, but all they were going to find was me, Jane, Nadia, and Penny on ‘Loose Woman’ talking about menopause,” she said.
Many of the protesters outside the building appeared to operate under the belief that they were targeting a large BBC building linked to its news coverage, with live broadcasts and promotional material for the event noting BBC links to the building.
Among the individuals outside was Piers Corbyn, brother of the former Labor leader, who was recorded in one live broadcast saying ‘we have to get these bastards under control’, while other individuals at the protest described the media as ‘the virus’ and criticized the BBC’s coverage of the virus pandemic. Corona.
“Shame on you,” hundreds of people outside the studio building chanted, with small scuffles erupting with Metropolitan Police officers guarding the entrance to the studios, though other protesters intervened to separate the two sides.
Police reinforcements and a helicopter were later deployed to the scene, while a smaller group of protesters later marched to Broadcasting House in central London.
The BBC has had to deal with a growing number of verbal and physical attacks on its journalists by anti-lockdown protesters, with Newsnight’s political editor Nick Watt being targeted outside Downing Street earlier this year.
BBC News Director Fran Unsworth has warned that abuse of its journalists is a growing problem and urged staff to practice how to deal with personal abuse.
The BBC said it did not comment on security matters. A Met spokesperson said no arrests were made. – guardian
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