Live telly sometimes produces awkward moments, as happened yesterday on Sunrise during a live to air telephone conversation with an Australian, Steve Smith, who was in hiding in the back of the Taj Mahal Hotel, isolated and awaiting news of a rescue.
Smith had been in a restaurant that had two hand grenades and open fire for ten minutes from AK47s. During questions live to air from David Koch about the gravity of the situation, Smith interjected.
“I hate to put you guys on the spot. But the reason someone rang you guys to ring me was because…what I wanted, I don’t have a weapon, ok?
“I don’t know what’s going on. I don’t have access to a television or anything. I’d like someone to tell me what’s going on, so that I can make a plan to get out of here with these guys, ok?
“I can’t drive, I’m about a block from the harbour. My plan is to go.”
Kochie and Mel were clearly concerned -or should that be thrown- by the man’s plea. Especially when they thought he was there to give an eyewitness interview as an Australian on the spot.
As Kochie quickly switched from interviewer to trouble-shooter, he advised he would hand the call back to a producer to put him in touch with the Department of Foreign Affairs.
“We’ll sort it out off air, so that he’s safe,” Mel added over Kochie’s explanation.
“Obviously this is something that is better handled off air, urgently.”