Heads Roll After Roach's TV Guest Spot

Turkmen president gives state-run station's newscast thumbs down
By Lucas Laursen,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 22, 2008 10:41 AM CST
Turkmenistan's President Gurbanguli Berdymukhamedov, right, and Russian Prime Minister Viktor Zubkov shake hands during a meeting in Ashgabat, Turkmenistan, Friday, Nov. 23, 2007. Berdymukhamedov fired...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – An ongoing overhaul of Turkmenistan state TV is apparently so interesting that even members of the animal kingdom want a front-row seat. Unfortunately for the staff of the nightly news, a cockroach recently strolled across the studio table while cameras were rolling, leading the country's president to fire dozens of the show's workers, reports the Guardian.

The cheeky cockroach’s televised trot took place during a 9pm program that was rebroadcast later that evening, insect and all. The committee tasked with overhauling the Soviet-era station didn't report to work until 9am the next day, and president Kurbanguly Berdymukhamedov soon made his displeasure felt: At least 30 employees, including directors, now have plenty of time to watch TV bloopers on YouTube.