In Depth

News reporter caught on air with no trousers - and five other working-from-home fails

Will Reeve appears on live TV in a jacket and shirt – and not much else

A US TV news reporter appeared live on Good Morning America – without any trousers.

Journalist Will Reeve, the son of Superman actor Christopher Reeve, was appearing on ABC News’s Good Morning America from his home during lockdown. But he failed to realise that his self-framed shot showed that he wasn’t wearing the bottom half of his suit.

Reeve, 27, was telling GMA’s anchors Michael Strahan and Amy Robach in their New York studio how pharmacies in the US have begun using drones to deliver prescriptions to patients during the coronavirus pandemic. But viewers were quick to point out that he appeared to have forgotten to put on any trousers. 

Writing on Twitter, Reeve said: “The camera angle, along with friends, family and several hundred strangers on social media made me rethink my morning routine. Any sartorial tips from these people who are wearing a belt, trousers and shoes during their work video calls at home are most welcome.”

Reeve added that being caught short was “hilariously mortifying” – but he is by no means the first person to fall foul of working-from-home’s pitfalls.

Loose-lipped Labour minister

Welsh health minister Vaughan Gething was last week forced to apologise after being caught swearing about a Labour colleague in a video conference.

Gething could be heard muttering “What the f*** is the matter with her?”, in reference to Cardiff Central Assembly Member Jenny Rathbone. 

The error was made after he left his microphone on by mistake in a virtual Welsh Assembly session conducted via Zoom – much to the amusement and horror of the rest of the call.

Gething has since apologised to his colleague, tweeting: “I’m obviously embarrassed about my comments at the end of questions today. I’ve sent a message apologising and offered to speak to Jenny Rathbone if she wishes to do so.”

California’s cat commissioner

CNN reports that officials in Vallejo, California are calling for planning commissioner Chris Platzer to be removed after he was seen “throwing a cat and drinking during a video meeting last week”.

During the meeting, which was recorded and can be viewed, the moderator asks Platzer for comment as a cat can be heard meowing in the background.

“OK, well, I’d like to first introduce my cat,” Platzer says, lifting up the cat to the camera before tossing it off camera.

Later in the call, Platzer is seen drinking “what appears to be a bottle of beer”, CNN adds. He is then heard saying “I’m going to call bullshit on you little bastards”, after everyone else has left the call.

Home office invasion

Perhaps the most iconic moment in Professor Robert E. Kelly’s distinguished career came while he was appearing live on the BBC.

As Kelly, a professor of political science at Pusan National University in South Korea, discussed inter-Korean affairs with the BBC host, his children gatecrashed his office. 

As his wife burst into the room to retrieve the children, Kelly and his family made TV history, becoming a classic of the “working-from-home fail” genre. 

Kelly is a regular guest on the BBC, but viewers would be lying if they said that they don’t have their eyes trained on that door behind him whenever he appears on screen. 

Potato problem

Another working-from-home error from the coronavirus era occurred when Lizet Ocampo, political director at People for the American Way, managed to turn herself into a potato during a Zoom call.  

Ocampo, who is based in Washington, told Buzzfeed: “Monday morning, we had our meeting and I usually try to do a camera, and when we started the meeting, I saw myself as a potato.

“I was so confused as to why I was a potato. Of all the things I could be, why a potato?”

Ocampo had previously used filters of potatoes for a light-hearted online meeting but had not realised they were still switched on. She then couldn’t switch them off.

She might have got away with her error had one of her staff not screenshotted her boss’s misfortune and shared it on Twitter. 

Ocampo told Buzzfeed that she is “just glad to be brightening people’s days in these strange times”, adding: “I hope folks are really taking it seriously to be safe and stay planted.”

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Always check your angles

In a NSFW moment on Californian news network KCRA3, reporter Melinda Meza inadvertently showed her husband in the shower.

The New York Post reports that Meza was filming herself “cutting her bangs for a story about hairstylists during the coronavirus quarantine” when the camera caught a little “more than she bargained for”.

Her husband, Mike de Lambert, was caught in a reflection in the background, apparently unaware that his privates were being beamed out to viewers across the US state. 

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