Jane Houston remembers an emergency on This Morning

We hadn’t been on air that long with This Morning when Lockerbie happened, and obviously the whole running order went out the window that morning. We used to always go through to central control. We would check the running time each day and the segments. We invariably went on air at 10:40:00 and came off at 12:10:15, I think it was. That day I went through and we all also, we went to the ITN news in the middle, I think at 11 o’clock, something like that. So there was the ITN news and then the local news. So we had a sort of three, four minute break in the middle. And that morning I went, went through to them and they said, “You go on, I have a 10:40:00 and we’ll go to the House of Commons at some point, but we can’t give you an off-air time. You’ve just got to fill.” So they couldn’t, they couldn’t give us a time when we were coming off air. And I think we eventually came off air at about one o’clock in the afternoon. So we had another 50 minutes to fill. 

The cartoon that week, because it was the Christmas holidays and there was a cartoon going out and cartoon was called Plane Crazy. And it was about Donald Duck on a plane, we weren’t allowed to show that, so the cartoon had gone. Fred Talbot – there’s another story – had gone to, he’d taken a whole load of kids to Lapland on a plane and that was supposed to go out that morning, that couldn’t go out. And so, the running order really was bare. And we had no idea of how long we had to fill. And we have no idea of how long we were going to go to the House of Commons for, how long that we were going to go to ITN for all of those things. And Richard and Judy were amazing. They just coped with it, whatever, and I’m sure that my voice in their ears was quite panicked at times, where I was saying, “You’ve got five minutes longer to fill,” or something like that, but they just coped with it. There were amazing, really, really professional. And that, that’s how I always found them to be very professional.

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