Monday 17 June 2019

Nimble Brexit protester dances to stay in shot during BBC News interview

The man played cat and mouse with TV producers

Steve Bray regularly protests against Brexit outside the Houses of Parliament (Rick Goodman/PA)
Steve Bray regularly protests against Brexit outside the Houses of Parliament (Rick Goodman/PA)

Alastair Reid and Rick Goodman

An anti-Brexit protester stole the show on the BBC News channel on Wednesday morning, making every effort to distract from a serious interview on Britain’s departure from the EU.

Brexit expert Georgina Wright had joined BBC presenter Annita McVeigh on the green outside the Houses of Parliament to unpick the complexities of the Government’s proposed Brexit deal, minutes before Prime Minister’s Questions in the Commons.

But stalwart protester Steve Bray, a regular feature on the green with a “stop Brexit” hat and a placard in each hand, raced to position himself in front of the cameras.

The charade continued for almost two minutes of the interview.

Each time producers switched to a different camera angle, Mr Bray would reposition himself to be clearly in shot.

Mr Bray, 49, said he was not afraid to look like an “idiot” on television to deliver his message.

“Our nation is more important than me looking an idiot on telly, far more important,” he told the Press Association.

“I do this for my daughter and my grandson. For the future.

“If Brexit happens, we will be in years of decline.”

Mr Bray, founder of anti-Brexit group Stand of Defiance European Movement, said he protests with others outside Westminster “every day they’re sitting” in Parliament.

He said he could see which camera the BBC was using on a monitor and shifted positions to be in each shot.

“And then they pulled the plug on the monitor once they realised,” he said.

He left the scene only for a religious fanatic heralding the return of Jesus Christ to appear on screen an hour later, seemingly inspired by his predecessor.

Ever the professional, McVeigh took it all in her stride.

“Sun in my eyes, helicopters above and #Westminster regulars – all in a day’s work! #thisiswhathappenswhenIleavethestudio,” she wrote on Twitter.

Read more: 'I haven't got the foggiest idea' - BBC journalist is as over Brexit as the rest of us

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