BBC Breakfast viewers slammed journalist Rachel Burden for interrupting an interview while the guest was recounting the time he was almost shot.
Rachel, 47, hosted Thursday’s show alongside Charlie Stayt, 59, when they interviewed infamous male model Norman Scott about his affair with former Liberal MP Jeremy Thorpe.
BBC Breakfast presenters Charlie Stayt and Rachel Burden[/caption]
She had stepped in to replace Naga Munchetty after another presenter shake-up when she chose a rather odd moment to tell the time.
Norman was telling the story of when Thorpe had hired an assassin to kill him and the moment he come face-to-face with the gunman.
But Norman was interrupted recounting the tale, who pointed out it was a bizarre thing to do.
“At this point, and it seems like a strange point to say this pause, we just need to tell you the time. It’s 8.59 and you’re watching BBC Breakfast,” she said to the camera.
“We just need to allow that to happen so we can carry on with the story now.”
Norman was the allowed to continue on and told the presenter how the hitman, Andrew Newton, shot the model’s dog before turning the gun on him – but it jammed before he sped off.
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Despite Norman’s intriguing story, viewers were too distracted by the “rude” interruption.
“Whoever has control over this, sort it out because that was shameful,” tweeted one fan angrily.
Another added: “Brave and courageous Norman Scott recalling the harrowing moment he was about to be shot in the head and he gets interrupted so the presenter can tell us it’s 8.59 for the news channel.”
And a third wrote: “Why do the presenters have to stop a conversation with a contributor to let us what the time is when we can see on the screen that it is 8.59am.”
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Norman was the man who was at the centre of an explosive scandal that brought down one of the main political figures of the 1970s.
He was a former stable hand and was the central figure in what was the trial of the century.
In 1979, Liberal Party leader Jeremy Thorpe went on trial for conspiracy to murder Scott after an apparently botched attempt on October 23, 1975.
The two had been lovers after meeting in 1960 when being gay was banned.
Scott, who worked as a model, was said to have had a full blown affair with the politician and even had liaisons in Thorpe’s Commons room.
But after they parted, Thorpe was said to have viewed Scott as a dangerous blackmailer intent on revenge – something that could have wrecked his political ambitions.
For while homosexuality was legalised in 1967 it was still taboo for people in the public eye.
Scott had been lured on to Exmoor by a hitman, who was allegedly a part-time pilot called Andrew Newton who had been hired as part of the plot.
A police investigation led to a trial in the Old Bailey with the Liberal leader accused of conspiracy to murder along with three other men.
But the jury did not feel convinced that Thorpe, a man of “hitherto unblemished reputation” and “a national figure with a very distinguished public record” could be capable of the crime. And he was acquitted along with the others.
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But Scott maintains Thorpe wanted him dead and said he only felt safe when the politician died in 2014.
His younger self has been played by actor Ben Wishaw in the new BBC drama starring Hugh Grant called A Very English Scandal.
Viewers were outraged that Norman Scott had been interrupted[/caption]
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