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News anchor thinks fast when her dress rips minutes before broadcast

"I was pretty panicked, to be honest," BBC anchor Liz Beacon said.
From the front, you'd never know BBC Points West anchor Liz Beacon was sporting a broken dress.
From the front, you'd never know BBC Points West anchor Liz Beacon was sporting a broken dress.Courtesy Liz Beacon/BBC Points West
/ Source: TODAY

It was a nightmare scenario for any TV news anchor.

Liz Beacon, a reporter for BBC Points West from Bristol, England, was about 15 minutes from going live in her broadcast when the zipper of her black Zara dress “exploded” all the way down her back.

Beacon didn’t have any spare dresses on hand, so she and her team came up with a makeshift solution for holding the garb together: clips and gaffer tape.

Quick thinking saved the day!Courtesy Liz Beacon

The quick fix worked well, and the dress looked perfect on camera.

But Beacon said she was nervous throughout the 30-minute broadcast.

“I was pretty panicked, to be honest, but knew I had to give the impression that nothing was wrong,” Beacon, 43, told TODAY Style in an email. “I could feel the tape sticking to parts of my back, so it was pretty hard to forget about it.”

Viewers at home had no idea!BBC Points West

She added that, at times, the clips felt like they were loosening.

“In some of the gaps, I was fiddling to make sure the clips were doing their job,” she said.

She looked calm and collected on the air, though, and viewers at home had no idea what had happened until Beacon tweeted about the incident later.

“Talk about being strapped in for the ride.... zip on my brand new dress exploded with 15 minutes to go until we were on air,” she wrote. “Gaffer and clips at the ready! Not glamorous. Or fun. Please help @ZARA.”

A Zara representative responded to her from the clothing brand's Twitter account.

“Hi Liz, we apologise for the inconvenience caused, as all of our products go through strict quality checks before distribution,” the tweet to Beacon read.

The company later promised to replace the dress.

Beacon said that going forward, she will definitely keep a spare outfit with her in case of another wardrobe mishap — because, understandably, she doesn't want to go through a stressful situation like this one again.

“(I) never had anything like it before,” she said. “It was most unnerving!”