BBC staff seen yawning, eating and playing in open-plan newsroom


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The Independent Online

Yawning, hugging, playing and even lightsaber-ing are all on a list of activities BBC viewers are reportedly finding distracting when watching serious broadcasts.

The open view of the news room situated directly behind news readers has also left staff feeling like "pandas in a zoo", according to the Daily Telegraph.

The BBC moved into their new state of the art premises at the Broadcasting House in London six months ago.

Their new studio features glass walls, leaving some audience members sidetracked by the activities going on behind them.

Cameras rolling 24 hours a day have since shown staff eating bananas, sipping hot drinks and even, on one occasion, pretending a pair of umbrellas were lightsabers.

Viewer Mike Jennings said he had witnessed staff seemingly playing as a serious news story was being broken. He tweeted: "Man talking gravely about floods on BBC News, Adults in background pretending their umbrellas are lightsaber".

Another viewer Mark Hutchings also took to Twitter to say he had seen staff hugging as an interview was being conducted.

“Surgeon on BBC News Channel from Southampton newsroom"  he tweeted. "In the background two journalists are hugging. I know it's Friday but...”

A spokeswoman for the BBC said their newsroom is designed to "showcase the best of the BBC’s journalism" and "to enable teams from all platforms to work together more collaboratively and efficiently. Staff are aware that they should behave appropriately.”