Matthew Mercer Explains Hilarious Technical Error During BBC Interview at BAFTA Awards

The gaffs of live television news provide an evergreen well of humor, with clips of outlandish moments often going viral on social media or making their way into montages on Last Week Tonight with John Oliver. During BBC’s coverage of the 2024 BAFTA Games Awards, Critical Role’s Matthew Mercer was unexpectedly caught in the crosshairs of one such a moment and later took to social media to explain how the technical issue arose.

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In an interview conducted virtually from the BAFTA Game Awards’ red carpet, Mercer was asked about the process of crafting a character’s distinct voice, only for his video call to drop off just as he began to answer. After a lingering beat of dead air, the anchor jovially bemoaned the technical issues that sometimes breed awkward on-air moments. However, the segment’s producers did not quite cut away fast enough from the screen that clearly displayed the Zoom update that: “this free HD meeting has ended”. Mercer later confirmed in a post on X that, indeed, the BBC had not utilized a paid version of Zoom for the call, resulting in the interview timing out.

Though we’ve all grown somewhat accustomed to Zoom-inspired uncomfortable moments in a post-COVID world, conducting remote interviews over a free version that can time out certainly comes across as an avoidable oversight from a network as well established as the BBC. However, Mercer and his fans on social media ultimately had fun with the end result. Dungeons & Dragons-related jokes abound in the comment section due to Mercer’s status as Critical Role’s Dungeon Master, while other fans genuinely wished to hear the voice actors’ full answer to the host’s question about the development of video game characters.

Though Mercer himself was not among the nominees at the BAFTA Game Awards this year, several titles he was involved in took home accolades, including Baldur’s Gate 3 and The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom. Much like December’s Game Awards, Baldur’s Gate 3 walked away with BAFTA’s top prize. Mercer provided the voice of Minsc in the acclaimed game and continues his prolific streak in gaming voice-over in the role of Final Fantasy VII: Rebirth’s Vincent Valentine. Mercer’s Critical Role colleagues Laura Bailey and Ashley Johnson have previously earned BAFTA Awards for their leading roles in The Last of Us.  


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Author
Tara McCauley
Nerd at large, Tara McCauley's happiest playing or writing about tabletop role playing games. Tara joined The Escapist in October 2023 as a freelance contributor. She covers such TV shows as Fargo and games/fandoms like Dungeons & Dragons. In addition to The Escapist, Tara has gushed about her favorite pop culture topics at CBR, MXDWN, and Monstrous Femme. When she's not writing or rolling dice, Tara can be found catching up on her favorite sitcoms, curled up with a horror comic, or waxing poetic about the WNBA.