Phoebe Hanson, from London, is a regular listener of Radio 4, where the iconic clock “bongs” in the lead up to the 6 o’clock news.
However, Big Ben needs to undergo urgent repairs at the start of 2017, so Phoebe was ready and willing to step in.
“Phoebe, my daughter, wrote a letter to Radio 4’s PM show worried about how they are going to lead up to the 6 o’clock news with Big Ben being out of action next year,” her dad, Jon Hanson, wrote on Facebook on 15 December.
“She offered her services to fill in and say ‘BONG’ for them, their response was priceless.”
The reply from Roger Sawyer, PM editor at Radio 4 hilariously addressed “Big Ben’s bongs (or lack of)”.
Sawyer thanked Phoebe for her letter and “imaginative idea” for what to do when the clock is out of action.
“Once before, when Big Ben fell silent for repairs, we played different birdsong every morning,” he wrote. “The listeners loved that but then the people behind ‘Tweet of the Day’ stole our idea, so we can’t do that.
“I must say I was very much taken with your idea and have passed it on to those who make decisions.”
Sawyer explained the mechanics of the “bongs”, adding that it would be “quite a task” for her to complete them every day.
“You’d have to rush in after school each day (and at the weekend), rush home for tea, homework, a bit of chillin’, then a quick sleep,” he wrote.
“And, here’s the thing, you’d have to rush back in again at midnight. That’s an awful lot of work for someone who is still quite young. I know I wouldn’t like to do that.”
Sawyer signed it off wishing Phoebe a “spiffing” Christmas.
His reply has been shared by more than 7,000 people on Facebook within five days of being shared by Jon Hanson on Thursday 15 December.
“Makes the world seem not such an awful place when things like this happen,” one person commented. “Phoebe for PM!”