big-ben

BBC Radio 4 editor gives amazing response to schoolgirl who offers to replace Big Ben

BBC Radio 4's editor Roger Sawyer thanked young Phoebe for the offer

Emmy Griffiths

A schoolgirl named Phoebe, who offered to replace Big Ben's 'bongs' for BBC Radio 4 after it was announced that the clock will be out of action for several years, has received a hilarious reply from the editor of radio station. The editor, Roger Sawyer, sent a brilliant letter in response to her offer, writing: "Thank you for your letter and for your very imaginative idea about what to do when Big Ben falls silent for repairs early next year. Some of the cleverest and most important people at the BBC are scratching their heads, wondering quite what to do." It was recently revealed that the clock, which will go silent on Monday 21 August, will be out of service until 2021. 

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He added: ""I must say I was very much taken with your idea… and have passed it no to those who make the decisions. As you know, the Bongs are live… and (you may not know this) the beginning of the Westminster Chimes (the bit that goes BimBom BimBom BimBobBomBom before the first BOOOONNNGGGGGGGGGG!) is always at a slightly different time (which is why you sometimes hear someone accidentally talking when they start.)… So it would be quite a task for you, doing the Bongs."

big-benVIEW GALLERY

Big Ben won't chime again until 2021 while undergoing maintenance 

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Roger then suggested it might be too much work for a young person, concluding the letter: "You'd have to rush in after school each day (and at the weekend), rush home for tea, homework, a bit of chillin', then a quick sleep. And then – here's the hard bit – you'd have to rush back in again at midnight, because there are live bongs again before the midnight news. That's an awful lot of work for someone who is still quite young. I know I wouldn't like to do all that." People were quick to tweet their thoughts, with one writing: "l think it would be lovely if Miss Hanson could do the 'bongs' on one occasion," while another added: "Such a cheering letter. We especially like the 'BOOONNNGGGGGGGGGG'. Excellent."