Striking BBC journalists willing to return to desks in the event of Nelson Mandela's death

Striking BBC staff were willing to return to their desks in the event of Nelson’s Mandela’s death, their unions have said, after the South African leader was taken into hospital yesterday morning.

The Telegraph has reported that the 12-hour walks out by BBC staff over enforced redundancies would have been broken in order to report the story, should the 94-year-old had died, with reports of his extremely frail condition.

Mandela, the former president of South Africa, was admitted to hospital yesterday, suffering with a lung infection.

An NUJ spokeswoman said: “Mandela, with his background in the trade unions, is an important figure for everybody,” the Telegraph reported, adding that the strike would then be postponed, however the same had not been discussed in the event of former prime minister Lady Thatcher’s death.

Yesterday’s walk out by NUJ and Bectu members at the BBC disrupted much of the corporation’s news offering, as a result of imposed job cuts and claims of bullying.

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Stephen Lepitak

Stephen Lepitak is editor of The Drum, with responsibility for overseeing the day-to-day running of the content produced for the various platforms run by the publication. Over the years he has interviewed agency network bosses such as Sir Martin Sorrell, Maurice Lévy and Arthur Sadoun, as well as Cindy Gallop, Kim Kardashian, film directors James Cameron, Spike Jonze, Richard Curtis and Lord David Puttnam. With a keen interest in media and breaking news, Lepitak has been with The Drum since 2005 and is based across its UK, US and Asia operations.

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