ITV announces death of Pope in Christmas blunder
ITV News presenter Kylie Pentelow mistakenly announced the death of 85-year-old Pope Francis during a segment on his Christmas Day address.
“The Pope’s festive address focused on his prayers for the pandemic to come to an end. He said vaccines should be made available to those most in need,” Pentelow reported on Saturday evening, before adding, “His death was announced… uh, excuse me.”
A camera pan to Pentelow showed the presenter looking very uncomfortable as the segment moved on.
The mistake was ridiculed on social media, though it was also met with understanding. BBC broadcaster Scott Bryan tweeted, “Someone get this newsreader a drink STAT. We all make mistakes.”
ITV news accidentally announces the death of the pope 👀 pic.twitter.com/6XyVtuypDi— CuriousRabitt 🐇🧐 (@ApocalypseBarB) December 26, 2021
“Spare a thought for everyone working the Christmas shift today,” another person wrote, while one former broadcaster revealed what may have been the source of the slip-up.
“When I worked at ITN news we had to do practice runs for announcing the Queen’s death,” she said. “We had all the right obits ready but all the names were replaced with Mrs Brown to avoid mistakes like this.”