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Near tragedy during BBC coverage of US election

Tragedy was narrowly averted during the BBC's coverage of the US election last night when media statistical analyst and illustrator Peter Snow was accidentally decapitated.

Mr Snow had been using a large template map of the United States on the floor of the studio, with colour-coded cutouts of the individual states to show how the election results were evolving. Each time he provided an update, these would fly from a hidden compartment behind him and land in their appropriate position on the template. They would then expand vertically to show the status of the presidential race in that state.

During a test run for one such update it is believed that Mr Snow was distracted when Vermont erupted unexpectedly, as a result of which he forgot to duck, and was decapitated by Omaha. Viewers were not aware of the incident, although host David Dimbleby did stop taking his glasses off and on for a few seconds as if anticipating some kind of development. However, as he had been doing that frequently during the evening it appears that no-one attached any significance to it.

Mr Snow, and his head, were rushed to hospital, where surgeons were able to join the two back together. Mr Snow then returned to the studio and continued with his periodic updates.

A slightly shaken Mr Snow later said that if Bert Trautmann could do it, so could he, and asked if there would be an OBE in it.

He is expected to make a full recovery, to within 3 per cent.

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