A presenter with type 1 diabetes working for the BBC World Service has been praised after recovering from hypoglycemia live on air.
Alex Ritson’s blood sugar levels dropped just as he was introducing The Newsroom show, shortly after 5pm on Friday 1 December. As the journalist started to talk about a story involving the Pope travelling to Bangladesh, he became confused, stumbling on his words and becoming hesitant.
As he began to recover, Mr Ritson then moved onto a news story involving a diabetes study published in the journal The Lancet, which he suggested was “appropriate”.
Mr Ritson told listeners: “I should apologise at this stage for the slightly confused start to this programme. I have type 1 diabetes and I had a low sugar attack, a ‘hypo’, just as we came on the air which caused me a little confusion in my opening sequence, so many apologies for that.”
People took to social media following the incident to congratulate the journalist for recovering well. A Twitter user by the name of @High_Net_Wife tweeted: “Well done to the BBC World Service presenter @bbcworldservice for coming back from a very confused intro. Being honest and explaining why the confusion had happened. He told the listeners that he has type 1 diabetes and his blood sugar level had dropped. #strong #honesty #true.”
A representative for the BBC said: “One of our presenters was a little unwell while on air this morning. The presenter came back on air later in the programme and explained to listeners that they have type 1 diabetes and were feeling better.”
Hypoglycemia, also referred to as a hypo, is triggered when blood sugar levels fall under 4 mmol/L and can be caused by too much insulin or not enough food. Hypo symptoms can vary but commonly include feeling dizzy, hungry, sweaty, experiencing a change in mood, trembling or finding it difficult to concentrate.
People with diabetes can get support in helping to prevent and treat hypos by joining our Hypo Awareness Program, an education course to help improve your knowledge of hypo symptoms and learn more about how hypos develop.

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