Radio 4 went briefly off air this morning and was bizarrely replaced by a documentary about t-shirts after an alarm in the building rang.

Following a news package about Ghislaine Maxwell, whose sex trafficking trial trial is due to begin in New York today, the channel went completely silent for around a minute at 7.39am, before a random documentary about t-shirts was aired for another minute.

Then, an advert for one of the channel’s shows played before a voice came on air saying:

“This is BBC Radio 4. I’m afraid we’re having some problems which are preventing us from continuing with our scheduled programme as smoothly as we wish.

“Many apologies for the disruption but rest we're doing our best to restore normal service as soon as possible.”

Similar messages and ads played for the next 15 minutes until the show returned at 7.55am.

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According to reports, the disruption happened because an alarm in the building rang, with a message saying “please the leave the building immediately” as hosts Nick Robinson and Martha Kearney tried to present the show.

Robinson said: “We have a little alarm going on here”, which Kearney said was “quite dramatic”, adding: “Hopefully it is a false alarm”.

Robinson then introduced a report while the staff “work out what is going on”.

When the show returned, Robinson said: “As far as we can tell there wasn’t actually an emergency. We were outside in the cold for a little while but we are relieved to be back on the Today programme.”

The programme continued with Thought For The Day – which wasn’t t-shirt related.

Reacting to the kerfuffle, people were pretty confused and found the silence on air pretty deafening:

And Robinson celebrated his return to the airwaves:

All’s well that ends well. Indy100 has contacted the BBC and Radio 4 to comment on this story.

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