Complaints to BBC over Proms disruption

September 5, 2011

The BBC received 22 complaints about the disruption to its broadcasting of the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra's performance at the Royal Albert Hall as part of the BBC Proms.

A dozen people unfurled a banner reading "Free Palestine" and sang about "Israeli apartheid" as the IPO began the concert. They were removed by security guards as the orchestra, conducted by Zubin Mehta, played on.

Soon after, as Gil Shaham prepared to play a violin solo, a smaller group began shouting and scuffled with audience members.

The audience chanted "out, out, out" and "shut your mouth" as one man resisted removal.

The BBC suspended its live Radio 3 broadcast during the disruption, but was later forced to abandon it completely after further protests.

It switched to a recorded perfomance by the orchestra of the same piece of music.

A BBC spokeswoman said: "We regret that as a result of sustained audience disruption within the concert hall which affected the ability to hear the music, tonight’s Israel Philharmonic Orchestra Prom was taken off air.

“The invitation to the o rchestra was a purely musical one, offering the opportunity to hear this fine orchestra in conductor Zubin Metha’s 75th year, so we are disappointed that BBC Radio 3 audiences were not able to enjoy the full performance."

Last updated: 11:42am, September 5 2011