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Fathers 4 Justice Storm UK Lottery

Last Updated: Thursday 25th May 2006, 14:53 pm

 After several months of keeping a relatively low profile in the UK, the paternal protest group Fathers 4 Justice re-launched its campaign to bring the plight of fathers to national attention… by storming the live National Lottery show.

Six Fathers 4 Justice protesters invaded the BBC set used for the live National Lottery: Jet Set programme. They had gained access to the set as regular audience members, then launched themselves onto the main stage when the live broadcast was underway. The show's presenters - Eamonn Holmes and Sarah Cawood - bravely attempted to continue with the broadcast but were eventually escorted off the set for their own safety. At that point the live transmission was cut and viewers at home were left staring at a title screen.

The Fathers 4 Justice group were originally formed in December 2002 by Matt O'Connor in an effort to raise awareness of the plight of fathers who are denied access to their children following separation or divorce. Past publicity stunts include a father scaling Buckingham Palace in a Batman costume, the flour-bombing of Prime Minister Tony Blair in the House of Commons and invading the pulpit at York Minster during a General Synod service.

Fathers 4 Justice were believed to have voluntarily disbanded at the beginning of 2006 after allegedly planning to kidnap Leo Blair - youngest child of Prime Minister Tony Blair. However, the live storming of National Lottery: Jet Set on Saturday shows that the protest group have reorganised and relaunched themselves - a fact they boast about on their web site The site caricatures the UK national lottery "blue fingers crossed" logo and reads, "Family Law Lotto. Next time it could be you."

Despite the unexpected interruption to the National Lottery: Jet Set show, the live broadcast resumed shortly afterwards and the £17 million jackpot draw went ahead without a hitch, albeit several minutes later than originally scheduled.

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