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Wife's call disrupts peer's TV appearance

Feb. 23, 2013 at 12:39 AM

LONDON, Feb. 23 (UPI) -- A former British deputy prime minister's interview live on BBC television was interrupted by a telephone call from his wife.

Michael Heseltine, 79, a businessman and longtime Conservative member of the House of Commons who now sits in the House of Lords as Baron Heseltine, was a guest Thursday evening on "Question Time," the Evening Standard reported. As he defended the current government's economic policies, his cell phone rang.

"The reason why the deficit is continuing is because the Government has decided that it will not cut the health service. The welfare system is being preserved very largely intact...," Heseltine said, halting as his iPhone rang.

It took Heseltine seconds to get his phone from his pocket and turn it off, an eternity on live television.

The Rev. Giles Fraser, on the panel with Heseltine in the broadcast from St. Paul's Cathedral, got a look at the phone's screen: "Who is that? It's your wife! Is that your wife? You have gone off-message."

"My wife is supporting what I have been saying, she is just letting me know," Heseltine responded.

The audience at the cathedral laughed and comments arrived quickly via Twitter.

"Heseltine apparently knows how to fix the economy, but not how to turn his phone off on live television," one said.

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