‘Wanted to run!’ BBCs Croxall on ‘scary’ moment breaking news of Prince Philip’s death

Martine Croxall discusses reporting on Prince Philip's death

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Clive Myrie welcomed BBC news presenter Martine Croxall onto Celebrity Mastermind on Saturday evening. The journalist was going head to head with three other famous faces in the quiz in a bid to win money for charity. While on the programme, Martine spoke about her career in news. She reflected on one particular challenge last year, which saw her break the news that the Duke of Edinburgh had died.

Clive praised Martine for her work as a BBC news presenter, insisting: “It’s a huge responsibility. You can’t get it wrong.”

The quiz host made it clear he was keen to know about some of the most challenging moments of Martine’s career.

He asked the BBC journalist what it was like to break the news of Prince Philip’s death.

“I want you to tell me what happened on the morning of the 9th of April 2021,” Clive said.

Martine began: “We were messing around a bit between 11 and 12 o’clock because it was quite a quiet news day.

“Then if you look carefully at the sweeping shot going up to the 12 o’clock headlines there were three people running across the newsroom because there’s some big story.”

“Something’s happening,” Clive laughed, as Martine recalled the sudden change in pace.

She continued: “So we go into the headlines at midday and I think everything’s fine and then the producer says, ‘Martine, we think the Duke of Edinburgh has died’.

“I had this incredible sense in my body that I wanted to get up and run away,” the journalist confessed.

However, Martine explained that she was able to get through the difficult day with the help of her BBC News colleagues.

“I thankfully had Nicholas Witchell, our royal correspondent, talking to me on the phone,” she said.

The journalist revealed she had to make some changes to her wardrobe before delivering the sad news.

Reflecting on the experience, Martine said: “I was taking off a necklace because it felt frivolous.

“Our floor manager, Niall, threw a black jacket underneath the desk at me and I’ve got to get this right.

“It was really scary actually,” the BBC journalist confessed.

“Because it’s something that could define a career if you get it wrong,” Clive added.

Martine remarked: “Yes and you know it’s going to be part of the archive, and you know it’s probably going to be played again, and again, and again.”

“It was your responsibility to tell that story first to the world,” Clive remarked.

“It’s a huge privilege,” Martine explained, with Clive agreeing: “Indeed, indeed.”

Celebrity Mastermind airs Saturdays at 6:30pm on BBC One.

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