No heart attack: BBC weather presenter who gasped for breath reassures listeners

A BBC weather presenter who suffered shortness of breath during a live broadcast has reassured listeners he was merely suffering the effects of running up a flight of stairs on his way to the studio.

Simon King said he had received messages from worried members of the public, but told them there was no health scare – he had just been running late for the live broadcast.

“Thank you to those who asked if I was alright after my Radio 4 weather earlier,” he said, posting a picture of the stairs online. “Not going to lie, it was horrendous … I just couldn’t catch a breath. Time was really tight after I finished a TV hit so I decided to run upstairs to the radio studio … big mistake.”

The weather presenter told the Telegraph that members of the public had sent messages asking: “You okay? Have you had an asthma attack? Heart attack?”

He said: “Fortunately, it was nothing more than just running to get to the studio in time up a massive flight of stairs and then struggling with it.”

King was responsible for delivering the forecast on BBC Breakfast on Sunday at 7.45am, then on Radio 4, 12 minutes later. But the TV broadcast was running late, meaning he had only two minutes to reach the Radio 4 studio. He told the Telegraph he looked at his watch and realised he had only two minutes before he needed to be on Radio 4.

“In order to get there and not miss it, I decided I should run up the stairs. Obviously, when I got to the radio studio and I couldn’t breathe, I immediately thought that was probably a bad idea.

“With Radio 4, that’s your allotted slot. So Neil Nunes, the presenter, handed it to me – as he normally would – and I started. But I just couldn’t get my breath. These things get even worse as you start talking. I couldn’t grab my breath whatsoever. It just got worse and worse.”

Rising panic exacerbated his breathlessness: “With Radio 4 you know the listener expects a high standard. So, while I was doing it, I realised I couldn’t really breathe properly, [and] the panic set in.”

But he said listeners were overwhelmingly supportive, with one saying: “I’m glad you are OK, I would still be standing at the first landing gasping for breath.”

King and his partner have been known to be cool under pressure. He recently told the BBC he had to help deliver their daughter when his wife “went from nothing to giving birth within 15 minutes”. He said: “It was so quick there wasn’t a chance for me to think ‘I can’t do this, I can’t deliver my baby’. I just had to get on with it.”

The Guardian