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Monday, 8 April, 2002, 23:29 GMT 00:29 UK
Broadcasting feat for royal funeral
Queen Mother
The coffin will be carried from Westminster Hall to the Abbey
The BBC has mounted one of its most ambitious operations to cover the funeral of the Queen Mother.

More than 350 people and 100 cameras were used as schedules were cleared to beam the event around the world.

More than 19 presenters were used during the build-up to Tuesday's service, including Sue McGregor who left BBC Radio 4's Today programme earlier this year.

David Dimbleby
David Dimbleby will lead the BBC's coverage
David Dimbleby once again led the television coverage, as he did for Friday's ceremonial procession.

The corporation has been working on plans for the funeral of the Queen Mother for many years, along with Buckingham Palace, Westminster Abbey and the City of Westminster, because of the huge scale of the operation.

The BBC came under fierce press criticism for its handling of the announcement of the Queen Mother's death, especially as news presenter Peter Sissons did not wear a black tie.

Westminster Abbey alone had 480 lights and 4.3 miles of cable installed ahead of the service.

Lining the route

As well as the funeral broadcast, presenters lined the route, talking to the thousands of mourners who turned out to pay their last respects.

Sir Trevor McDonald
Sir Trevor McDonald will front ITV1's coverage
Dimbleby commentated and analysed events with historian Simon Schama, from a purpose-built studio opposite Westminster Abbey.

The presenter was on his way to Sri Lanka when the Queen Mother died. A message was sent to the plane and he took the first plane back to London.

Other correspondents such as Fergal Keane were flown back from overseas assignments to cover the event.

The funeral also posed a challenge for ITV1, which used eight outside broadcast units and about 90 cameras to cover the event.

Sir Trevor McDonald presented the network's live coverage, while his ITN colleague John Suchet commentated on the ceremony.

The BBC's Paul Welsh
"It will be the biggest broadcast of its kind"
See also:

03 Apr 02 | TV and Radio
Sissons hits back at critics
02 Apr 02 | TV and Radio
Palace backs BBC over 'royal row'
02 Apr 02 | TV and Radio
BBC's royal defence in full
01 Apr 02 | UK
Prince's tribute in full
01 Apr 02 | TV and Radio
Schedules resume after royal coverage
09 Apr 02 | Arts
Motion's poem for Queen Mother
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