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The moment where Spearmint Rhino strip club got free advertising on ABC News
One of the riskier aspects of live TV reporting is that the unexpected can happen.
That was certainly the case when a huge advertisement for a strip club hilariously drove past an ABC journalist as he was doing a very professional piece-to-camera.
Reporter Richard Willingham was on screen explaining to Australian viewers how the Victorian government is planning to fund a new mental health project.
Undoubtedly a very serious topic of discussion – but viewers couldn’t help but notice what was going on in the background.
An enormous LED billboard attached to a truck lit up the shot as it drove past Richard, which advertised free entry at the Spearmint Rhino strip club on King Street in Melbourne.
The club says it provides “world class service and the finest strippers” and is apparently open every night.
That’s one way to get free advertising – and a great PR stunt, if you ask us.
Although the billboard’s appearance only lasted 10 seconds, one eagle-eyed viewer – Stephen Mayne – managed to capture the funny moment and shared it on Twitter.
Just tuned in to the 7pm ABC TV news to learn about state budget and one of the first things I was told was that it… https://t.co/ppVbwMY2VD — Stephen Mayne (@Stephen Mayne)
The tweet received over 128,000 views and nearly 2,000 likes, with many people sharing their amusement at the clip.
They also loved and commented on the accidental crossover between ABC News and the Spearmint Rhino strip club.
Others joked that ABC might start an OnlyFans account to increase their budget, and some quipped that they would tune in more if it meant that more funny incidents like this happened.
@MayneReport @rwillingham Who of us hasn't said at some stage..."I think I'll watch ABC News, then catch a strip show." — Stephen Redmond (@Stephen Redmond)
@MayneReport @rwillingham that was bloody funny, thankyou — Jarrod Watt (@Jarrod Watt)
@MayneReport @rwillingham ABC provides all the info you need to know — Shirley Yooggest (@Shirley Yooggest)
@MayneReport @rwillingham Next thing, abc starts an only fans to raise funds — El Bee (@El Bee)
Willingham himself even retweeted the clip and responded, acknowledging the perils that come with live TV coverage.
The joys of live TV. https://t.co/VYmZtyiI4z — Richard Willingham (@Richard Willingham)
Fellow ABC journalists also shared their reaction to their colleague’s funny moment. It definitely went down well in the office then..
This was absolutely not planned.
@abcmelbourne https://t.co/lezeJpSLEe — Tamara Oudyn (@Tamara Oudyn)
Expect the unexpected 😳😉 https://t.co/T2xupm1hC9 — Beverley O'Connor (@Beverley O'Connor)
You made my night @rwillingham https://t.co/X1dhIq8QFt — Barrie Cassidy (@Barrie Cassidy)
The work Christmas tape is building up very nicely this year. https://t.co/aFham56bTf — Dan Ziffer (@Dan Ziffer)
Willingham is not the first Australian reporter to have a photo-bombing live on air, as Sunrise‘s Edwina Bartholomew can vouch for.
.@edwina_b received an unwelcome guest while reporting from the mean streets of Windsor... 😆 https://t.co/i0IyfqPWJS — Sunrise (@Sunrise)
When a car drove past the shot during her report, a child in the car cheekily flips off the camera.
Luckily, Bartholomew saw the funny side to the unexpected cameo, jokingly saying:
“Talking of bad parenting, how about that little kid that pulled up behind me before, what a little rotter!”
We can all agree that it’s those funny impromptu moments that makes live TV so entertaining.