WSJ’s BBC Dad Interview Is Its Highest-Trafficked Piece Ever

People really wanted answers

Headshot of Corinne Grinapol

The Wall Street Journal scored a coup yesterday when Alastair Gale snagged the first interview with Robert Kelly, aka BBC dad, following this weekend’s viral moment created when Kelly’s children burst into his office, followed by his wife, attempting damage control, during a live interview with the BBC.

You can relive the original video here:

The moment that started it all
BBC News

The moment was the non-political touch of comedy we all needed, for the brief time before it became the politicized focal point we can’t seem to get away from, with Facebook arguments and think pieces springing up around questions of fatherhood; the modern, digital workforce; what it says when Kelly’s wife was assumed to be his nanny–any and all societal issues that could be discovered by watching a 43-second video.

The hunger for answers was there, so much so that WSJ’s quest to uncover them turned Gale’s interview into the Journal’s most-viewed piece ever, according to deputy editor for enterprise Sam Walker.

About three-quarters of that traffic came on mobile, according to a Journal rep, with the accompanying video, which was not paywalled, largely being watched to the end.

That may be something to celebrate or sigh over, depending on where you stand. Yes, it’s an example of lighter fare getting the kind of outsized reach that is more difficult for hard news to achieve. But in our splintered, siloed, polarized, algorithmically divided world, it’s nice to know that there are still events that can cross the demographic divides and take their place within a collective cultural memory.