Minister ridiculed for allowing Skype call to interrupt radio interview three times

PUBLISHED: 11:24 01 June 2020 | UPDATED: 11:31 01 June 2020

Alok Sharma later appeared on BBC Breakfast. Photograph: BBC.

Alok Sharma later appeared on BBC Breakfast. Photograph: BBC.

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A cabinet minister has been ridiculed after he allowed an interview on national radio to be interrupted by Skype calls three times.

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During Alok Sharma’s appearance on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme he was called three times on the software.

Today presented Nick Robinson identified the cause of the interruption as a Skype ringtone and joked it may have been a rival broadcaster trying to get hold of the business secretary for an interview.

Sharma was discussing the latest developments in the coronavirus crisis with the BBC’s Martha Kearney when the first call came in.

She said: “Sorry about that noise, I hope it’s coming from your end rather than our end.


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“Sounds a bit like an alarm you have got going off.”

Sharma apologised and said “I think we have managed to fix it” - only for two further interruptions to occur during the interview.

Afterwards Kearney said “I think we are all curious about what that alarm was for” but Sharma said it was “another programme” before he was cut off.

Robinson said: “I think what he was going to say is that it was a television producer saying ‘you are supposed to be on the telly, business secretary’.”

“Bless Alok Sharma, a government minister so inept he can’t even switch off Skype,” said one.

“Good morning only to the person doggedly trying to Skype Alok Sharma while he’s live on-air,” joked Esther Webber.

“Been trying to call Alok Sharma on Skype but he’s not answering, wonder why?” joked Lucas Baker.

“So today on #r4today we learn the business secretary Alok Sharma doesn’t know how to work Skype. So that’s reassuring - not,” wrote Juliet McKenna.

Roslyn Byfield tweeted: “Alok Sharma busy being ‘very clear’ but obviously less clear how technology works- Skype ring tone interrupting his interview. Amateurish and irritating for listeners”.

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