BBC News apologises over graphics in Boris Johnson's lockdown address

The BBC has apologised after it received complaints from audience members who were unhappy that slides featuring coronavirus data were not fully visible during Boris Johnson’s address to the nation on Saturday.

Over the weekend, the Prime Minister announced England will go back into a national lockdown on Thursday. Schools and essential shops will stay open but all other businesses, including pubs and restaurants, will have to close.

The measures will be in place until at least December 2 in a bid to drive down spiralling rates of the virus.

Many viewers complained the BBC’s banner blocked key information from the graphs during the BBC News Special.

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Acknowledging the poor graphics, the BBC said: ‘The press briefings are broadcast live and the BBC doesn’t have any prior control over the graphs provided by the Government.

‘We appreciate that at times it was difficult to read the graphs due to the amount of information contained within them and we assure you that this issue has been raised with the relevant teams responsible for conducting the briefings. 

‘Unfortunately there was also a technical issue with the line from Downing Street which led to slight cropping of the slides being shown.’

BBC News continued: ‘We apologise for this error and we’re sorry if our audience had trouble understanding the information that was being given during the briefing.

‘We consider that we factually reflected the points being made in the briefing in our news coverage throughout the rest of the evening.

‘Senior members of BBC News staff have spoken with the teams concerned, and have put measures in place to avoid this from happening again.’

Mr Johnson thanked people who had been ‘putting up with’ local restrictions during his speech on Saturday.

He also warned: ‘We’ve got to be humble in the face of nature… the virus is spreading even faster than the reasonable worst case scenario of our scientific advisers.

‘Unless we act, we could see deaths in this country running at several thousand a day – a peak of mortality, alas, bigger than the one we saw in April.’

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