BBC presenter Clive Myrie has responded to criticism of his coverage of Queen Elizabeth II’s ill health and death, insisting he did not “belittle” the cost of living crisis during his broadcast.
On Thursday, Myrie and his BBC colleague Huw Edwards were part of a special live news bulletin which began when Buckingham Palace gave an update on “concerns” about the Queen’s health, and continued following the news that she had died at the age of 96.
During this broadcast, the presenter commented on the fact that the announcement about the late monarch’s ill health was made while newly-appointed prime minister Liz Truss was “making a rather important statement concerning the future of energy bills”.
“That, of course, [is] insignificant now given the gravity of the situation we seem to be experiencing with Her Majesty,” he then added.
Political correspondent Damian Grammaticas responded that the news had “overshadowed” Truss’ update.
When this clip was shared online, it as many inferred that Myrie was talking about the energy crisis itself being “insignificant” compared to news about the Queen.
Responding to one such critic on Friday morning, Myrie wrote: “Let me clear something up, particularly for those who seemed to relish the suggestion that I would be INSENSITIVE enough to belittle the struggles of millions with their bills.
“I was referring to the speech Liz Truss was giving, not the CONTENTS of that speech.”
He added: “It was a poor choice of word perhaps but that’s live broadcasting. But the vitriolic ‘pile on’ hasn’t been particularly edifying either. But that’s Twitter for you! Cheers.”
Myrie also retweeted a number of messages of support:
The duty eventually fell to Huw Edwards to announce to BBC viewers on Thursday evening that the Queen had died after 70 years on the throne.
Following the news, tributes immediately flooded in from world leaders as well as public figures from the British entertainment world.
The Queen’s eldest son Charles, who became King upon the death of his mother, said: “We mourn profoundly the passing of a cherished Sovereign and a much-loved Mother.
“I know her loss will be deeply felt throughout the country, the Realms and the Commonwealth, and by countless people around the world.”