Belfast Telegraph

Watch: BBC's Stephen Nolan taken aback by protester during live show

By Staff Reporter

A protester interrupted Nolan Live last night and started shouting during the programme.

Stephen Nolan kept his cool and continued broadcasting.

The man was accompanied out of the studio by security seconds later. He was speaking in a foreign accent and appeared to try to hand the BBC man papers, which Mr Nolan did not take.

Mr Nolan was discussing the controversy surrounding DUP Stormont Speaker Robin Newton at the time.

As the protester interrupts, Nolan jumps back in his seat and appears startled as the man approaches from the presenter's left. However, he appears to relax as it becomes clear that the man is not a threat.

Nolan told the man: "I think what you need to do is leave sir... Thank you - goodbye.

"We have no idea who that was, but we will continue with our programme."

There was speculation on social media that the man may have been Catalan, protesting about the situation in Spain over the referendum on independence.

However, one man took to Twitter claiming to be behind the interruption in saying he was protesting against "big corporations and big media organisation".

"We disrupted Nolan live, Radio one and BBC because we demand the freedom of ideas, the right of participation and to be supported," Dr ACAtivism said in the post.

On last night's panel was TUV leader Jim Allister, former Alliance leader David Ford, SDLP Upper Bann MLA Dolores Kelly and East Antrim MLA Roy Beggs Jr.

It's not the first time Nolan has faced protesters. In January 2013, his show went ahead with a debate about the restriction of the flying of the Union flag at Belfast City Hall, despite a loyalist picket outside the BBC's Blackstaff House studios.

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