History

VIDEO: Newly unearthed footage shows how the BBC broke the news of Lord Mountbatten’s assasination​


Newly unearthed archive footage shows how the BBC interrupted normal broadcasting to break the news of Lord Mountbatten’s death 40 years ago.

As it was a Bank Holiday Monday, the BBC was airing a special comedy double-bill featuring Bob Hope at the time the announcement was made.

The decision was made to interrupt the programming to announce Lord Mountbatten’s death at around 4:20pm.

News presenter Christopher Morris was on duty that day and broke the news of the assassination to viewers watching on BBC Two.

After the minute-long newsflash ended, BBC Two returned to airing Bob Hope films but explained that a special documentary would air later that evening.

On 27th August 1979, The Queen’s cousin was killed by an IRA bomb blast whilst on his boat in Ireland.

It wasn’t just Mountbatten who perished in the boat; one of his twin grandson’s, Nicholas, and a local boat boy, Paul Maxwell, also died as a result of the bomb explosion.

Another passenger on the boat, the Dowager Lady Brabourne, died the day after the attack from injuries sustained in the blast.

The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh were naturally devastated by Mountbatten’s shocking death, as Louis was Philip’s uncle, as well as Elizabeth’s cousin. The trio was close, and it was a testimony to how highly they thought of him when Queen Elizabeth granted him a full state funeral at Westminster Abbey.