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BBC has secret scripts prepared for use in case of winter blackouts

Gabriella Ferlita

Published 
| Last updated 

BBC has secret scripts prepared for use in case of winter blackouts

The BBC has secret scripts prepared to use in case of a winter blackout, it’s been reported.

The news organisation has put together dialogue to be read live on air should energy shortages cause blackouts or gas supplies fall through between December and March.

The scripts, according to the Guardian, outline how the outlet will address audience viewers in the event that a ‘major loss of power’ would force mobile phone networks, WiFi, banking systems and even traffic lights to power down across England, Wales and Scotland.

Of course, a blackout also means that viewers would not actually be able to watch the programme that they have prepared.

The BBC has secret scripts prepared for this winter. Credit: incamerastock / Alamy Stock Photo
The BBC has secret scripts prepared for this winter. Credit: incamerastock / Alamy Stock Photo

So, they instead have been said to be inviting listeners to use their car radios or battery-powered devices to listen to emergency programming on FM and long-wave frequencies which Radio 2 and Radio 4 normally broadcast on.

Northern Ireland, however, would not be affected by such power cuts, as they share an electricity grid with the Republic of Ireland.

According to the publication, the BBC’s draft script outlines how it would run a massively reduced temporary radio service from the UK’s emergency broadcasting centre (EBC) during a national blackout.

They would be providing news bulletins every half hour on Radio 4’s FM and long-wave frequencies, as well as a ‘music service’ with news updates on the FM spectrum used by Radio 2.

They would need to broadcast over the radio waves to reach listeners. Credit: GeoPic / Alamy Stock Photo
They would need to broadcast over the radio waves to reach listeners. Credit: GeoPic / Alamy Stock Photo

One script outlines how mains electricity could only be available in a few remote parts of Scotland, including the Western Isles, Orkney and Shetland, as well as some parts of the Highlands.

The script is also said to have a space included for a quote from a member of the Cabinet Office under the pseudonym ‘Jose Riera’.

The script also states that the blackouts would be affecting gas supply systems and prevent the use of mobile networks, cashpoints and internet access.

Traffic lights would also cease working, causing potential havoc on the roads.

“The emergency services are under extreme pressure. People are being advised not to contact them unless absolutely necessary,” one prepared script reads.

One script outlines how mains electricity could only be available in a few remote parts of Scotland. Credit: Jim M. Macdonald / Alamy Stock Photo
One script outlines how mains electricity could only be available in a few remote parts of Scotland. Credit: Jim M. Macdonald / Alamy Stock Photo

It also states that an emergency coordination centre has been launched in Wales, while in Scotland the first minister, Nicola Sturgeon, is chair of a devolved government emergency planning meeting in light of the ordeal.

The script also states: “Officials are saying there is no current risk to food supply and distribution. But they’re asking people to look out for vulnerable neighbours and relatives.”

While this may seem far-fetched, the National Grid - which distributes electricity and gas in Great Britain - has supplied a rare warning that power supplies could be at risk this winter.

Worst-case scenario, the company stated that they could request blackouts up to the course of three hours a day if Russia decided to cut off all gas supplies to Europe.

John Pettigrew, National Grid’s chief executive, said on Monday that if these situations were to play out, there could be rolling blackouts on ‘really, really cold’ days in January and February between the hours of 4pm and 7pm when wind speeds are not forceful enough to power turbines.

Featured Image Credit: BBC Panorama / Alamy Stock Photo

Topics: News, UK News

Gabriella Ferlita
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