BBC News presenter Maryam Moshiri has apologised for flipping the middle finger live on air.
The presenter was seen by viewers on Wednesday baring her middle finger towards the camera just as the broadcast began.
Moshiri can be seen realising that she is on air, before proceeding to read out the headlines about Boris Johnson amid the recent Covid inquiry.
The presenter has been with the BBC since 2003 and became the Chief Presenter for them in 2019.
This blunder comes after Moshiri was announced recently to be taking over The Daily Global on the BBC News channel, which leads “the conversation on key global issues.”
In a post on X, formerly Twitter, Moshiri explained the rude gesture and proceeded to apologise: “Yesterday just before the top of the hour I was joking around a bit with the team in the gallery. I was pretending to count down as the director was counting me down from 10-0.
“When we got to 1 I turned my finger around as a joke and did not realise it would be caught on camera.
“I’m so sorry it went out on air! It was not my intention for this to happen and I’m sorry if I offended or upset anyone.
“I wasn’t ‘flipping the bird’ at viewers or even a person really. It was a silly joke.”
Hey everyone , yesterday just before the top of the hour I was joking around a bit with the team in the gallery.
I was pretending to count down as the director was counting me down from 10-0.. including the fingers to show the number. So from 10 fingers held up to one.
— Maryam Moshiri (@BBCMaryam) December 7, 2023
There was plenty of support for Moshiri on Twitter with one user actually being rather amazed: “Switching within a second to read the news was even more impressive.”
Other users found it funny and insisted there was no need to apologise: “Don’t worry about it! Clear you were only having a moment of levity with crew.”
This apology comes amid the announcement from Culture Secretary Lucy Frazer on Thursday that the BBC’S TV licence would rise in price from April.
It is set to rise to £169.50 a year, having been frozen for the last two years at £159.
The £159 charge allows the access of BBC services including TV, radio, the BBC website, podcasts and iPlayer. The fee is guaranteed to exist at least until the end of 2027.
The BBC has been approached for comment.