'Minor mistake' made my family YouTube stars, says BBC dad

PHOTO: Facebook video screengrabs

A "comedy of errors" was what led to one of 2017's most epic viral moments, when a professor's adorable children gatecrashed his video interview with the BBC.

Everyone knows the clip by now. Political science professor Robert E. Kelly had been on a Skype call with the BBC speaking on the South Korea impeachment scandal, when suddenly, the door burst open and his 4-year-old daughter, Marion, swaggered over to her father.

His 8-month-old son, James, then rolled in behind his sister in a baby-walker, before their flustered-looking mother, Jung-a Kim enters and drags the children out of the room.

In another video interview with the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) - this time with the kids involved too - Ms Kim jokingly points the finger at blame at Mr Kelly. "Most of the time he locks the door," she said before bursting out in laughter.

Read also: Professor thinks he's going to nail BBC interview, forgets he has kids

👶😂 Our favourite live TV moment of the week by far 👶😂

Posted by Newsbeat on Friday, 10 March 2017

Mr Kelly, who is an associate professor at the Pusan National University, also explained that Marion had been in high spirits on the day of the interview because it was her birthday. "She was in a hippity-hoppity mood that day because of the school party," he said.

He also said that his reaction was a mixture of surprise, embarrassment and amusement, as well as love and affection, and added that he had watched the video of the incident like everyone else, and found it to be "terribly cute" and "really funny".

Mr Kelly admitted to WSJ that he feared that he might not be asked to appear on TV again, and immediately wrote to the BBC to apologise.

However, the broadcaster instead asked if they could put up a clip of the interview online, and while the the couple initially declined and had to be persuaded, they were soon launched into viral superstardom.

"I made this minor mistake that turned my family into YouTube stars. It's pretty ridiculous," he told WSJ.

The video, which was first posted on Facebook on Mar 10, has been viewed over 85 million times, and has been covered by media all over the world.

It has also sparked some fierce debate online about stereotyping and inter-racial marriages, following the initial false assumptions made by some that Ms Kim was the nanny.

In a separate interview with the BBC, Ms Kim appeared to be relaxed over the controversy, and hoped people would just enjoy the video. "I'm not the nanny, that's the truth, so I hope they stop arguing," she said.

Read also: Remember the woman in BBC's live interview? She's not the nanny

seanyap@sph.com.sg

Purchase this article for republication.

SERVICES