Page last updated at 10:54 GMT, Friday, 28 March 2008

Radio 4 news hit by giggling fit

Charlotte Green
Green is a familiar voice to Radio 4 listeners

Hundreds of listeners have contacted BBC Radio 4 after newsreader Charlotte Green dissolved into giggles while reading a bulletin on Today.

She lost control after playing a clip of the oldest known recording of the human voice.

Presenter James Naughtie intervened as she struggled to tell listeners about the death of screenwriter Abby Mann.

"I'm afraid I just lost it, I was completely ambushed by the giggles," said Green.

She admitted a similar giggling fit besieged her about 10 years ago, also on the Today programme.

"I did feel slightly embarrassed, knowing I have this reputation that I am prone to getting the giggles," she said.

"People have been very sweet and everyone has been coming up to me said how much it has cheered up their Friday morning."

Today's editor, Ceri Thomas, said most listeners who contacted the show had commented on "how much they had enjoyed the moment".

He added: "When Charlotte loses it, she really loses it."

Green's hysterical outburst started after a studio member remarked that the 1860 recording of a woman singing the French song Au Clair de la Lune sounded like a "bee buzzing in a bottle".

Later on in the programme Green's fit of the giggles was repeated as presenter Ed Stourton remarked they had been besieged with calls begging them to play it again.

"Apparently the BBC press office is in meltdown with calls about it," he said.

"We hope that the family of Abby Mann will understand that it obviously wasn't intended as any slight towards him."


SEE ALSO
Oldest recorded voices sing again
28 Mar 08 |  Technology
Oscar-winning writer Mann dies
28 Mar 08 |  Entertainment
Charlotte Green
24 Feb 04 |  Radio newsreaders

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