Intruder attacks BBC newsroom

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ABOUT 100 BBC journalists, including the newsreader Anna Ford, were forced to run for cover yesterday when a man smashed his way into the corporation's newsroom and began hurling furniture and computers around the office.

The attacker, who was shouting at staff about the BBC's coverage of a story, picked up a computer and attempted to smash his way into a director's gallery, but he was wrestled to the ground by an engineer and a producer. Security guards then detained the man until police arrived and arrested him.

An investigation has been started into the incident, which comes despite the BBC having adopted tighter security measures at all its premises since the murder of the television presenter Jill Dando.

The drama began at 10.25am when the man leapt over the turnstiles that guard the entrance to Television Centre in White City, west London. After running up stairs to the locked door of the newly merged BBC radio and television newsroom, he climbed into the room through a window after smashing the glass with a table.

Then he started hurling furniture and computers while shouting: "You can't do this to me," and "I'll show you, you can't take me off air."

A location engineer aged 38, who does not wish to be named, helped to tackle the man. "He [the attacker] appeared to be very angry. He was confronting people, but a few of us jumped on him and managed to get him to the ground. Then some security staff arrived," the engineer said later.

Richard Eyre, deputy chief executive of BBC News, said: "This was a serious breach of security that has shocked staff."