In a striking display of British aplomb, a BBC newscaster coolly read out the events of the day while her co-anchor, off-screen, sat on a lesbian activist who burst screaming onto a live evening TV news broadcast.

Viewers of the British Broadcasting Corp.'s 6 p.m. newscast Monday heard a few unintelligible howls from the woman activist and three fellow demonstrators protesting a new law banning the promotion of homosexuality."We have rather been invaded," said anchorwoman Sue Lawley after the women entered the studios at the start of the show and handcuffed themselves to objects in the room.

Beside her, co-anchor Nicholas Witchell took action.

"I found she had handcuffed herself to Sue's desk so I sat on her and put my hand over her mouth," he said. "I thought we would be taken off the air but Sue, very calmly, kept running through the introduction to the first piece."

Lawley, who did not flinch during the bedlam, asked viewers to try to ignore what was going on in the background. She said later, "it was a very alarming experience."