Dad interrupted: Family opens up about hilarious video
A PROFESSOR who became a viral star after his young children gatecrashed his BBC World News interview has admitted he "struggled not to laugh" during the TV fiasco.
Robert E. Kelly was being questioned about the impeachment of South Korean president Park Geun-hye via Skype when his two kids - one in a baby-walker - burst into his home office.
Hilarious video showed Mr Kelly awkwardly push away his daughter, moments before his panicked wife slid across the hardwood floor to drag the kids out of the room.
"As soon as she opened the door, I saw her image on my screen. ... Then I knew it was over," Mr Kelly told The Wall Street Journal, in his first interview since the funny clip went viral.
Mr Kelly, who lives in South Korea, rode out the awkward interview, thinking the BBC had cut away to other footage or narrowed the camera angle. It hadn't.
"It's a comedy of errors," he said of the interview, which has been viewed over 84 million times on the BBC Facebook page and dissected by media around the world.
Mr Kelly, an associate professor of political science at Pusan National University in South Korea, took the blame for the live-to-air catastrophe - he forgot to lock the door.
During his BBC appearance, his wife Kim Jung-a was in the living room with their two children, four-year-old Marion and eight-month-old James. Marion was in a "hippity-hoppity mood" following a birthday party.
As Ms Kim filmed her husband's interview from the TV screen (to ensure she had a copy of the clip) the kids made their getaway.
Ms Kim only noticed the children were gone when she saw them pop up on the TV screen.
"He usually locks the door," Ms 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. It was chaos for me."
Mr Kelly said that, although he was "mortified", he did not scold the children.
"I mean it was terribly cute," he 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. They're little kids and that's how things are."
The East Asia expert added: "Yes I was mortified, but I also want my kids to feel comfortable coming to me. I made this minor mistake that turned my family into YouTube stars. It's pretty ridiculous."
That oversight sparked one of the biggest internet sensations of the year, with the buzz even overshadowing the political news Mr Kelly was being interviewed about.
Since then, the American academic has been contacted by international TV networks, and he will be holding a press conference on Wednesday for South Korean media.
It's a positive outcome for Mr Kelly, who feared the interview would hurt his career.
"We said to each other, 'Wow, what just happened?'" he said.
He revealed he wrote to the BBC after the bungled interview to apologise, but within 15 minutes, the British broadcaster asked if it could post the video.
He responded on Twitter: "What would that mean, please? Re-broadcasting it on BBC TV, or just here on Twitter? Is it this kind of thing that goes 'viral' and gets weird?"
And amid mounting speculation, Mr Kelly also revealed he was wearing pants during the interview.