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Dublin: 18 °C Thursday 6 August, 2020

A little girl has offered to shout 'BONG' for the BBC while Big Ben is being repaired

Their response was absolutely lovely.

Big Ben repairs Source: Philip Toscano/PA Wire

EARLY NEXT YEAR, Big Ben, which normally rings in the six o’clock news on BBC Radio 4, will fall silent as it undergoes repairs.

Eight-year-old Phoebe Hanson reckons she knows what the BBC should do while Big Ben is out of action – invite her to fill in and say BONG for them.

She wrote a letter to the station’s PM show offering her services, and received this lovely reply from the editor Roger Sawyer:

bigben Source: Facebook/Jon Hanson

As you know, the Bongs are live… and (you may not know this) the beginning of the Westminster Chimes (the bit that goes BimBom BimBom BimBomBimBom before the first BOOOONNGGGGGGGGG) is always at a slightly different time, which is why you sometimes hear someone accidentally talking when they start. It depends on things like temperature and atmospheric pressure and stuff like that.
So it would be quite a task for you, doing the Bongs; you’d have to rush in after school each day (and at the weekend), rush home for tea, homework, a bit of chillin’, then a quick sleep. And then – here’s the hard bit – you’d have to rush back in again at midnight, because there are live bongs before the midnight news.

“That’s an awful lot of work for someone who is still quite young. I know I wouldn’t like to do all that,” Sawyer mused.

Phoebe’s father Jon Hanson was amused by the response and posted the letter on his Facebook page, where it’s been shared thousands of times.

It appears Phoebe has seriously considered the offer – her dad says she thinks he should “drive her up to Broadcasting House and back twice a day”. Bless.

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