BBC presenter

Moshiri said she had been joking around with the production team. Image: The National/ YouTube

WATCH: News presenter pulls middle finger live on air [video]

A BBC news anchor was accidentally caught pulling the middle finger at the beginning of a live broadcast on Wednesday.

BBC presenter

Moshiri said she had been joking around with the production team. Image: The National/ YouTube

Maryam Moshiri, one of BBC News’s top presenters, was seen at the start of the midday news bulletin with her middle finger – and eyebrows – raised, after the show’s countdown.

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In what was clearly an error of judgement and timing, Moshiri quickly composed herself and began to read out the news headlines.


Video: The National

Presenter issues apology

Moshiri took to Twitter (X) on Thursday to explain that she had been joking around with the production team, pretending to count down using her fingers.

“Hey everyone, yesterday just before the top of the hour I was joking around a bit with the team in the gallery.

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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.

When we got to 1 I turned finger around as a joke and did not realise that this would be caught on camera.

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It was a private joke with the team and 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 that was meant for a small number of my mates,” her tweet read, followed by a facepalm emoji.

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Some offended by gesture

Some people took offence, commenting below the presenter’s tweet that it was unprofessional and using it to call for the defunding of the BBC.

But she was also inundated with support from dozens of people who had found the moment amusing, with one writing: “As a BBC licence payer I demand more of this type of behaviour.”