The BBC's royal correspondent Nicholas Witchell has concerned viewers after a rambling and stuttering broadcast outside Buckingham Palace this evening.

The veteran broadcaster had to hand back early to Ben Brown in the studio after he repeatedly struggled to get his words out.

Mr Witchell was telling viewers about Harry and Meghan's Baby Sussex, the first Anglo-American birth in the British Royal Family.

In the piece to camera, he spoke of how the Duke and Duchess of Sussex considered themselves "global ambassadors" and they might spend time in Africa later this year.

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But then the royal correspondent appeared to trip over his words and told viewers: "Excuse me, let me just collect my thoughts."

But on the second time of trying, he still failed to express what he was trying to say.

He said: "I'm so sorry, let me just once again hand back to you Ben."

After the BBC cut back to the newsreader in the studio, viewers started to air their concerns on social media for Mr Witchell's well-being, which resulted in the broadcaster trending on Twitter.

Many said they would not make jokes about the broadcast, saying it was "rather worrying" for such an experienced correspondent.

Others tweeted at the BBC asking for them to clarify if he was well after the concerning appearance.

Many fellow broadcasters showed their support to Mr Witchell.

His BBC colleague Jeremy Bowen said: "I've seen some snide comments about Nick Witchell. Please stop, they're not deserved. He's a respected and experienced broadcaster, doing his job. I don't know what happened tonight but it's certainly no reason to be nasty."

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Sky News anchor Adam Boulton wrote on Twitter: "What just happened to Nicholas Witchell? Great reporter. Something must have been distracting him."

Viewer Paul McGlynn said: "Just seen Nicholas Witchell on a live BBC news broadcast, he had to pass back to the studio, one of the most experienced presenters so it wasn't nerves etc, before he gets panned online can everyone at least wait until he is confirmed ok, he deserves that."

Another, Angela Haggerty, said: "That was a wee shame for Nicholas Witchell on the 10 O'Clock news there, he had a bit of a brain freeze and had to hand back to the studio. But to be fair there are only so many things you can say about a baby being born."

Paul Royall, editor of the BBC News at Six and Ten, tweeted: "For those asking about Nick Witchell - he's absolutely fine. Highly unusually for Nick he lost his train of thought on the #BBCNewsTen and decided to hand back to the studio.

"This can happen sometimes even to the most experienced and respected in busy live news broadcasting."