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Some BBC services could be knocked “out of action” by coronavirus, admits Hall

The BBC could suspend some of its services in the face of coronavirus, said director general Tony Hall.

Speaking to parliament’s Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee, Hall said that though the broadcaster is “intent on keeping absolutely everything open,” some service could be ruled “out of action.”

He said: “We have to make sure our news services keep transmitting on television and on radio, and we are making sure we’ve got every eventuality covered.

“We are gaming out what happens if x% of the staff [caught coronavirus] or what happens if there was a case in one of our stations or newsrooms, what would we do and how we would cope with that?”

He noted that the BBC proves to be vital in times of crisis as “people turn to us for information”

Internally, BBC group managing director Bob Shennan is chairing a daily taskforce with Hall being involved with regular meetings on Coronavirus.

Hall said: “We’re putting out daily information to the staff. This morning’s work has been around guests coming into the building and checking we know the history of guests, where they have been and so on.”

The BBC has already suspended one production – Studio Lambert’s Celebrity Race Across The World which was scheduled to start filming in April.