BBC producer run over by mother-in-law

Alun Newman at BBC Radio Solent desk Alun bravely went back to work after being run over

A BBC radio producer was hurt after a car driven by his mother-in-law ran him over.

Alun Newman, who works on a mid-morning show for BBC Radio Solent, was saying goodbye to his relative in front of his house when she accidentally started the car in reverse, panicked and hit the accelerator instead of the brake.

The producer - who was leaning into the car - was hit by the passenger door and thrown to the ground last Wednesday, injuring his legs. But it turns out that his worst injury is to his pride.

'73-year-old pensioner'

The local newspaper, The Daily Echo, reported that Newman (who is 41) was actually a 73-year-old pensioner. They also assumed that he was injured by his wife, not by his mother-in-law.

'They even married me to my mother-in-law. It's horrendous,' he laughs.

Newman has no idea where The Daily Echo got its story, although he does admit to having grey hair that has made him 'very sensitive to being aged inappropriately'.

He's made light of his misfortune, but the incident was serious. His mother-in-law, who was shaken, also smashed through a neighbour's garden wall and hit a parked van.

'Other than the fact that the car was a write-off, she hit a van, she destroyed a wall and that I can't walk properly, the real issue is that I am only 40, just.'

Tragic comedy
Damaged wall in front of house Damage to wall

The radio producer 'heroically' cycled to work last Friday and decided to speak out about the incident on his show, mainly to correct the inaccuracies reported by the local press. 'This story is both brilliantly funny and awful at the same time,' he concludes.

His colleagues have pitched in to raise Newman's spirits. On his arrival at work last week, they had assembled a special Blue Cross box with a sign that read 'treats for the pensioner'. It included a luminous vest, luminous gloves, a bottle of wine, biscuits and a Toblerone bar.

'Everyone had clubbed in with gifts for the pensioner and I thought that was quite sweet and quite moving, really, because it was such a horrible event.'

It's the first time Newman has been run over and he hopes it's the last. He jokingly speculates that his mother-in-law could have been taking revenge for a comment he made as they said their goodbyes to each other.

'She had made these cakes and they didn't come out quite right and I had said to her, "I think they are a tad on the dry side," and we had this kind of laugh about it and then said goodbye and then she ran me over.'

It's the kind of story he will undoubtedly tell his grandchildren, but he believes that he will start embellishing it each time, making it more and more incredible with each retelling.

His mother-in-law remains on his Christmas card list for now, Newman confirms.

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