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The Dad In That Hilarious BBC Interview Is Speaking Out About What Actually Happened

"It's a comedy of errors."

Originally posted on
Updated on

If you spent any time on the internet last week, you're probably familiar with this video of a professor's super-serious BBC interview being interrupted by his two kids.

So this just happened on @BBCWorld - Love the kids! @Robert_E_Kelly

In the past four days it's taken the world by storm, spinning off into a ton of memes and parodies.

That mom bust in rhe interview like

It was also met with backlash, due to many people wrongly assuming Robert Kelly's wife — an Asian woman — was the nanny.

In an interview with the Wall Street Journal, Kelly spoke about the family's newfound viral fame and gave a play-by-play of the whole event from their perspective.

BBC

"It's a comedy of errors," Kelly said.

Kelly said his wife, Kim Jung-A, had been in the living room with their two children to watch the interview on TV. She was concentrating on filming it on her phone.

Marion, their 4-year-old daughter, recognized the room her dad was filming in and wandered away to find him. She'd already been excited that day after celebrating her birthday at kindergarten, he said.

“She was in a hippity-hoppity mood that day because of the school party,” Kelly said.

James, their 8-month-old son, followed his sister in his baby walker. Kim did not know the children had crashed Kelly's interview until a few seconds later, when she saw it on TV.

“As soon as [Marion] opened the door I saw her image on my screen,” Kelly said.

He tried to nudge her out of the way and toward some toys off-camera, figuring the BBC might cut away or narrow the angle so his daughter wouldn't be in it.

Spoiler alert: They didn't. And then James sauntered on in.

“Then I knew it was over,” Kelly said.

That's when Kim slid in, rounding up the children as swiftly as possible.

“He usually locks the door,” Kim said. “Most of the time they come back to me after they find the locked door. But they didn’t."

"And then I saw the door was open," she said. "It was chaos for me.”

Kelly said the incident was a bit embarrassing, but also quite amusing as a father.

“I mean it was terribly cute,” Kelly said. “I saw the video like everybody else. My wife did a great job cleaning up a really unanticipated situation as best she possibly could."

"It was funny. If you watch the tape I was sort of struggling to keep my own laughs down," he said. "They’re little kids and that’s how things are.”

“Yes, I was mortified, but I also want my kids to feel comfortable coming to me,” he said. “I made this minor mistake that turned my family into YouTube stars. It’s pretty ridiculous.”

The Wall Street Journal video also gave us some pretty iconic footage of the Kelly family.

And in a second video interview with BBC, the whole family gathered to answer questions about the video.

They've watched the video a ton of times and "laughed a lot," Kim said.

Even so, they were "worried the BBC would never call us again," Kelly said.

The couple also addressed the people who assumed Kim was the nanny, saying they were "pretty uncomfortable with it."

And of course, Kelly had to respond to one of the most pressing questions of all.

"Yes, I was wearing pants," he said.

The family also issued a statement on Prof. Kelly's blog on Wednesday.

“My family and I would like to thank our many well-wishers. We are just a regular family, and raising two young children can be a lot of work. Because of that, it seems that the video has resonated with parents around the world, and we are flattered at the many gentle sentiments about our children. Thank you," the statement read.

"We love them very much, and we are happy that our family blooper brought some laughter to so many."

They also used the post to try and clear up a few more of the rumors that had circulated around the clip.

Among other things, they confirmed the incident was definitely not staged, and that Kim had not used force in the removing the children from the room.

"It is quite apparent from the video that she is frantically trying to salvage the professionalism of the interview. The children were not injured. When Marion speaks in the clip, she says, in Korean, ‘why Mom?’ She is responding in surprise, because we normally do not treat out children this way. Marion’s willingness to comfortably traipse into my home office illustrates her usual ease with her parents," the family said.

They also confirmed that the flat surface to Kelly's left was a covered up air mattress, which the children "like to play and jump on," and that the map in the background is not a prop. "It was a gift, and genuinely helps me learn world place names in Korean."

Julia Reinstein is a reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York.

Contact Julia Reinstein at julia.reinstein@buzzfeed.com.

Francis Whittaker is a homepage editor for BuzzFeed News and is based in London.

Contact Francis Whittaker at francis.whittaker@buzzfeed.com.

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