Lorraine Kelly details most vivid memory of reporting on Lockerbie bombing

BBC News Bulletin – Lockerbie Bombing 21 December 1988

Lorraine Kelly has opened up about the tragic moment she first reported on the Lockerbie bombing in December 1988.

The ITV presenter, who currently presents her own daytime show, was working as a Scotland correspondent at a breakfast station near to where the plane crash occurred.

A total of 270 people were killed in Britain’s largest terrorist atrocity when the aircraft, travelling from London to New York, was brought down over the town of Lockerbie.

Speaking to Radio Times, she recalled: “There were no mobile phones or internet back then, but we had responded so quickly that the police hadn’t had time to put up barriers.

“Looking back, as we trudged through that field, I realise I was only able to function and do my job because it felt so utterly unreal. It was like the set of a disaster movie.”

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Another 11 people died in Lockerbie when the plane wreckage destroyed their homes.

She continued: “One of my most vivid memories at the time of the disaster was people quietly taking their Christmas decorations down. No one wanted to celebrate.”

Abdelbaset al-Megrahi, a former Libyan intelligence officer, was found guilty in 2001 of mass murder and jailed for life with a minimum term of 27 years.

In 2009, Megrahi was released from prison in Scotland on compassionate grounds after being diagnosed with terminal cancer.

He died in Libya in 2012.

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The Libyan had originally lodged an appeal against his conviction in 2007, but this was abandoned in 2009.

In January 2021, his son lost an appeal against his late father’s conviction.

In Lorraine’s new documentary, named Return to Lockerbie, she speaks to local residents as well as speaking about her horrific memories.

Residents didn’t put up Christmas decorations for ten years following the bombing.

Read the full interview with Lorraine in the Radio Times.

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