‘BBC Dad’ reflects on viral interview six years later

‘BBC Dad’ reflects on viral interview six years later

It’s hard to believe it has been six years since the viral moment a father was photobombed by his wife and two children during a live interview. Now, professor Robert Kelly has marked the anniversary of the hilarious video.

Back in 2017, American professor Robert Kelly was being interviewed by the BBC from his home on the issue of South Korean politics when his daughter, Marion, walked into his office. The four-year-old wearing glasses burst open the door and danced her way into the room, as Professor Kelly attempted to push his child away.

Then, she was joined by her nine-month-old brother James, who was in a baby walker. They were quickly followed by Kelly’s wife, Kim Jung-a, who rounded up the children and tried her best not to be seen on camera. The mother of two was seen on her hands and knees as she dragged them out of his office, but the adorable damage had already been done.

The interview instantly went viral as viewers declared it possibly the best video of the year.

Six years later, Kelly has recognised the anniversary of the hilarious interview on Twitter. “Today’s the sixth anniversary of the BBC Dad video,” he tweeted on 9 March 2023. The father of two quote-tweeted a 2022 thread from last year’s anniversary of the “BBC Dad” video, in which he gave updates about his now-10-year-old daughter Marion and seven-year-old son James.

“Thanks for all the kind sentiments over the years about our family,” he added.

In the Twitter thread marking last year’s fifth anniversary of the viral interview, Kelly shared that he and his wife “remain deeply grateful for all the kindness about our kids over the years.”

The professor of political science at Pusan National University in South Korea also took the moment to address some rumours that the viral interview was staged. “If you’re a ‘BBC Dad Truther’ who still thinks we staged the whole thing to get famous, we did not,” he wrote.

Along with the thread, Kelly shared several family snapshots over the years, including two current photos of his children. “Thank you again for all your kind words over the years,” he said.

Speaking to the BBC shortly after his family’s viral appearance, Kelly said he was “flattered” by the video’s positive reaction. The professor, alongside his wife and two children, said at a press conference in South Korea that he was “happy our family blooper – our family error on television – brought so much laughter to so many people."

Kelly revealed that he spotted his daughter in the reflection on his computer screen when she walked in. "I was hoping that maybe my daughter might sit down and read a book or something, even for 30 seconds until we could just cut the interview, but once my son came in on the little roller, then it was sort of... there was nothing I could do," he told the BBC.

He also admitted that he was concerned the moment had harmed his career, adding: "We [he and his wife] were mortified. We assumed that no television network would ever call me again to speak."