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BBC could shutdown TV & radio services over coronavirus pandemic

While the BBC will desperately ensure it keeps television and radio services on-air, its Director General Tony Hall admitted that the coronavirus pandemic could put various channels “out of action”.

Hall commented on the contingency plans should the BBC’s staff were struck down by the virus. He told the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport select committee, “We are looking at our resilience, if a service was to be hit for a while what do we do and how do we best manage that.

“You could imagine a local station or some other part of our news operation being out of action for a period.

“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 per cent 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.”

Hall was asked if the BBC could be forced to scale back on services, to which he responded, “There could be- I hope there won’t be, but you could imagine a local station or some other part of our network operations being out of action for a period.”