- The BBC brought a Trump baby balloon, which Trump says makes him “feel unwelcome,” onto live TV to mark his state visit on Monday.
- Victoria Derbyshire, a primetime chat show, interviewed the woman organising the blimp’s appearance at a protest, and also a pro-Trump campaigner, as the balloon floated over them.
- The full-size balloon, costing £5,000 and measuring 20 feet, was last raised in London when Trump visited on July 13, 2018.
- At the time, Trump told The Sun: “I guess when they put out blimps to make me feel unwelcome, no reason for me to go to London.”
- The BBC told Business Insider the use of the balloon was warranted “given the widespread protests across the UK at Trump’s state visit.”
- The BBC Charter states the BBC must remain impartial, but the balloon, as a symbol of the anti-Trump protest, may lead some to accuse them of taking sides.
- Trump meets the Queen, Prince Charles, and Theresa May during his visit to London, which will continue until Wednesday.
- Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.
Britain’s public broadcaster, the BBC, marked President Donald Trump’s state visit to the UK by inviting into its studios a Trump baby balloon which the president has publicly said he doesn’t like.
The balloon – a replica of a larger blimp which Trump said made him “feel unwelcome” last time it came to London, loomed over the set of Victoria Derbyshire’s show on the BBC2 channel on Monday.
The show – a primetime casual political chat show – was airing an interview with Anna Vickerstaff, a Trump baby balloon organiser, and Daniel Mcilhiney, a spokesman for the pro-Trump group Trump UK.
The real 20-foot balloon will be raised in Parliament Square, Westminster, at 9:00 a.m. on Tuesday, according to organisers The Stop Trump Coalition. It will fly there while the president meets UK Prime Minister Theresa May at St James’ Palace, a little less than one mile away.
Trump told The Sun newspaper in an interview in July 2018: “I guess when they put out blimps to make me feel unwelcome, no reason for me to go to London.”
The full-sized balloon cost £5,000 ($US6,300) to make. It was the idea of Matt Bonner, 36, from London. It also followed Trump to the G20 summit in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
Trump is scheduled to meet with the Queen, Prince Charles, and Theresa May during his stay, which ends on Wednesday.
The orange balloon-Trump that appeared on the BBC had a phone clutched in its right hand, alluding to the president’s penchant for regular tweeting.
Earlier on Monday Trump broadsided London Mayor Sadiq Khan on Twitter, calling him a “stone cold loser” after Khan branded Trump a “fascist.”
The BBC Charter states the BBC must remain impartial, but the balloon, as a symbol of the anti-Trump protest, may cause some to accuse them of taking sides.
A BBC spokesperson told Business Insider:
“We featured a smaller version of the blimp in the studio to illustrate the protests due to take place and highlight one of the points of controversy about whether the blimp should be allowed to fly.”
“It appeared as part of an interview with protester Anna Vickerstaff who is one of the organisers behind the blimp and Daniel Mcelhinney from Trump UK, a group of people who support the president.”
“Given the widespread protests across the UK at Trump’s state visit, it’s appropriate to be covering this topic.”
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