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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
Heads Roll After Roach's TV Guest Spot
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 30 television workers over an errant cockroach on Feb. 21, 2008. (AP Photo/RIA-Novosti, Sergei Subbotin)   (Associated Press)

(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.

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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. (Read more Turkmenistan stories.)

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