This video does not show a real nuclear attack alert

Published: 9th Jan 2020

In brief


A video captured the BBC interrupting its programming to alert the UK to a nuclear attack.


The original video shown on the screen is not real. It was made “just for fun”.

A video claiming to show the BBC interrupting programming to warn of an imminent nuclear attack has been viewed 21,000 times on Facebook. 

However, this is not a real alert and has never actually been broadcast. The video has been taken from a YouTube edit that was created by someone who said it was “just for fun”. The edit includes footage of a BBC newsreader and of a countdown clock. 

The footage of a newsreader that appears to be from the BBC is real footage taken from a news broadcast in 2017, during which the presenter struggled to find his positioning in the studio

We don’t know the details of how exactly the government would warn the public in a crisis scenario, but it would likely involve a cross-media effort

It should also be noted that if this video was real, the UK would have at the time of publication experienced an attack. This has not happened.

This article is part of our work fact checking potentially false pictures, videos and stories on Facebook. You can read more about this—and find out how to report Facebook content—here. For the purposes of that scheme, we’ve rated this claim as false because it’s not a real alert.

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