'BBC Dad' changes Skype interview background; sends Twitter into a frenzy

Some Twitter users were disappointed that Professor Robert Kelly, whose family went viral last year after his daughter interrupted a video interview, changed his office set-up.
Some Twitter users were disappointed that Professor Robert Kelly, whose family went viral last year after his daughter interrupted a video interview, changed his office set-up.PHOTO: TWITTER/ROSS KEMPSELL

The famed "BBC Dad" who became a social media phenomenon last year when his children hilariously walked into his live Skype interview with BBC News has sparked another frenzy online.

This time, it is not because his young daughter barged into the room, but because viewers were concerned that she may not be able to unceremoniously interrupt him again.

After Professor Robert Kelly of Pusan National University in South Korea went on air to give his expert take on the developments in North Korea last Friday (March 9), Twitter users noticed a significant difference in his video-call setup.

Instead of the home office background that many social media users were used to, including piles of books, a world map and the infamously unlocked door, the political science professor appeared on BBC News against a window and chest of drawers.

Last year, Prof Kelly and his family went viral after he was interrupted by his 4-year-old daughter trotting into his room, unaware that her father was live on TV.

Marion was then followed into the room by her eight-month-old brother, who crawled into the home office.

The hilarious interjection was topped off with his wife Kim Jung-A "flying down the hallway" into the room to attempt to salvage the situation. The clip swiftly went viral, earning Prof Kelly the nickname BBC Dad.

On Friday, several Twitter users lamented that the new setup would no longer give his daughter another chance to "invade" the Skype interview.

One user called it a "shame" and joked that they should set up a petition to "have it moved back".

"Even if no one ever comes through that door again, the anticipation is delicious," the user added.

Some users also assumed that perhaps the change in backdrop was to prevent another social media fiasco led by his children.

However, the professor quickly took to Twitter to set the record straight, saying that the change in backdrop was only because he was travelling and had to use a laptop.

"Once I'm home, it will be the same set-up as always," said Prof Kelly.

https://twitter.com/_varsha_venkat/status/972846084581031937

In response to the clarification, many expressed their collective relief, with one saying: "Phew! Would hate to think you have prevented the frisson of risk that 'that thing' may happen again!"