‘That didn’t just happen!’ Energy chief tells BBC of power returning as his lights go out

Head of Policy Development of Northern Powergrid, Jim Cardwell, appeared on BBC Breakfast following an interview with a man whose house has been without power since Storm Arwen hit. Energy firms have been desperately trying to reconnect homes affected in the north with Mr Cardwell explaining the majority have and that they were working flat out to fix the problem. But Mr Cardwell fell victim to an ill-timed moment where his lights went out with host Jon Kay exclaiming he could not believe it had just happened as BBC staff could be heard laughing at the gaffe in the background.

BBC Breakfast host Naga Munchetty spoke with Andy Smith who has been without power for several days.

Mr Smith explained he had a wood burner and some heat sources but was growing frustrated at the lack of action.

Mr Kay then invited Mr Cardwell onto the show and wanted to know what was being done.

He asked: “Thanks for joining us, I know you guys are flat out, the key thing people or Andy need to know is when on earth are they going to get reconnected?”

Mr Cardwell replied: “We serve the people in the northeast and Yorkshire, Storm Arwen has put massive damage on our network.

“It took out about 240,000 people, as a region we are probably one of the worst affected in all of this.

“The good news is the vast majority of those have been…”

Mr Cardwell was then plunged into darkness as his lights went out which prompted Mr Kay and his BBC colleagues to watch on in shock at the timing.

It is not the first time an energy boss has been scuppered by timed lights as Ofgem CEO, Jonathan Brearley, suffered the same mishap during an appearance on a government committee.

Mr Brearley appeared on the Commons energy committee and gave an update on energy prices and suppliers going bust.

But the lights in his room then went out during his presentation with the panel remarking “don’t panic” as he revealed the lights were motion-sensitive.

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