I can’t speak for all the US, but the United Kingdom is unbearably, undeniably, and unrelentingly hot right now. Our luscious green countryside has turned yellow, reservoirs are dangerously low, and my gran is fuming that she’s been banned from using her hosepipe to water her geraniums.
July saw four weeks of soaring temperatures, far greater than any respectable Brit could handle, with the hottest day of the year clocking in at a sweltering 35.3C (95.5F). It did go away for a mere three days, but now its back with a vengeance, and promises to leave me looking like a cooked lobster just in time for the routine summer weddings.
To put the severity of this weather into context, the UK has now been consistently hotter than it has been for more than 100 years. Sure, back then they would still be walking around in three-piece suits and petticoats, and still wouldn’t complain – but us modern Brits just aren’t cut out for this living hell.
Rainfall is so low, that farmers are in crisis, and wildfires are a very real threat. Children are overheating at school, and people are passing out on the subway – but my girlfriend’s got a killer tan on her legs. So, swings and roundabouts.
Understandably, when the weather is the biggest talking point of the nation, it becomes focal in every single news bulletin. The headline news is all about the hot weather, the traffic news is all about people stuck in their cars in this hot weather, the sport is all about the conditions players face in this hot weather, and the weather… well, that’s just about the hot weather.
And to prove this point, many UK news stations have invited weather experts onto their shows in order to discuss the ongoing heatwave. Enter our star for the day, scientist Mark McCarthy.
As manager of the National National Climate Information Center, McCarthy was invited to appear on the BBC News Channel in order to discuss the ongoing heatwaves with presenter Annita McVeigh.
It all started well, as McCarthy was introduced by McVeigh as they cut to the live feed and saying: “To talk to us about all of this, Mark at the State of the Climate report.
“What can we say about the weather in the UK, have we got firmly established patterns now of warmer and wetter weather?”
That’s when the interview took a turn for the worst, and you can check out the car-crash footage in the video below:
As McCarthy began to explain the findings of his report – replying: “One thing that we are seeing is…” – he paused. He then started to look incredibly weary, closing his eyes and ducking out of shot. Then, with a whimpering “sorry”, he passes out.
Full credit to McCarthy for trying to battle on, but the heat and pressure were just too much, and McVeigh quickly cut off the interview, saying: “Mark, perhaps we will try to come back to you, and I do hope that Mark McCarthy there is OK.”
Not one to let the public worry, Mark did offer a full explanation on Twitter, including an apology to McVeigh: “Note to self — avoid passing out on live TV.” And in another post, he wrote: “Ever so sorry @annita_mcveigh @BBCNews not my finest interview!”
But McVeigh kindly replied to Mark’s sincere apology, saying: “All sorts of things happen on live tv and you have nothing to apologise for Mark @markpmcc – hope the rest of your day is less eventful!”
Amazingly, he didn’t stop there, as he followed up his tweets with another ironically worded post:
This guy just loves weather!
The fact is, live TV was unintentionally made for blunders like this. When the cameras are rolling and there’s no hope of mistakes being edited out in post-production, something is bound to go wrong. The sad thing is, in this day and age, these poor unfortunate souls are destined to exist on YouTube for longer than their actual lives.
However, not all of these are comical “fails”, very often the live cameras can pick up something that should never have been caught in the first place, like this reporter who was groped live on air:
Props to her professionalism for being able to continue the broadcast.
And in yet another astonishing example of professionalism in the news industry, this is the moment a female news anchor was reporting on a fatal car collision in the local area, before realizing her husband had died in the crash.
Her reaction to the news baffles me:
I’d have been a hysterical mess, but her professionalism and dedication to her work is something of which I have never seen before on live television.
The truth is, live television will always be unpredictable, and will continue to provide moments that both entertain and shock us.