The BBC gave their listeners quite the scare Tuesday morning after their news anchor had a hypoglycemic attack
Alex Ritson is the morning newsreader for BBC on Radio 4 and World Service News. He’s also a type 1 diabetic and requires regular insulin shots just to stay alive. But even with regular insulin injections, keeping his blood sugar under control can be a tricky endeavor, and he doesn’t always get it right.
Case in point, what happened Tuesday morning. While reading the world news headlines in that iconic BBC fashion, Ritson began to slur some words, stammer, and then repeat himself like a broken record, sometimes skipping headlines altogether.
Morning commuters were able to hear Ritson struggle with reading a headline on the recently lost Argentinian submarine before launching into a story on the Pope. "The new Pope has found a... I'm sorry, the Pope has,” Ritson said before pausing, mired in obvious turmoil. “The upcoming- I'm sorry... In the United States- the Donald Trump has found a new... You're listening to the BBC World Service this is the BBC World Service on the BBC World Service
Ritson tries once more before finally throwing in the towel. “And we are listening- um- I'm sorry, we will now... Neil here shortly with the headlines."
Neil Nunes finished the morning’s headlines while concerned co-workers force-fed Ritson sugar packets to get his blood sugar levels back to a healthy level.
Ritson described the whole experience as a “nightmare” with all his faculties deserting him while on the air. “As I was trying to read the script, my eyes started operating independently of each other, creating two swirling pages of words, neither of which would stay still,” Ritson told the BBC in a subsequent interview. “And I had a strange sensation which I can only describe as my subconscious, for reasons of survival, independently trying to wrestle my life controls away from my failing conscious mind.”
Luckily, Ritson survived his ordeal unscathed and even received some heartwarming letters from concerned listeners.
Although far rarer than type 2 diabetes, type 1 diabetes is no less fatal. Usually diagnosed at a young age, type 1 diabetics are characterized by the body’s inability to process sugar due to lack of insulin. Type 1 diabetics must regularly inject insulin to survive, but managing blood sugar levels is still a daily struggle. requiring regular blood sugar tests.