BBC News presenter apologises for ‘flipping the bird’ during broadcast

BBC News reader Maryam Moshiri pictured giving a middle finger.

A BBC News presenter has apologised after flipping off its national viewers just seconds before a news broadcast.

Chief presenter Maryam Moshiri gave the middle finger moments following the beginning of a Wednesday (6 December) broadcast.

The presenter could briefly be seen making the gesture for a few seconds, before seemingly realising she was on air and quickly regaining composure before reading out the latest headlines.

The moment was quickly spotted and shared on X, formerly Twitter, with users sharing both shock and amusement at the on-air blunder.

In response to one social media user posting that it had “been a while” since someone gave the finger during a BBC News broadcast, Moshri responded by apologising for what she described as a “private joke”.

In her apology, she explained that, as the BBC countdown intro was taking place, she was pretending to count down with her hand along with the director.

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As the countdown timer hit one, she turned her finger around as a joke, not realising it would be broadcast to millions.

“I’m so sorry it went out on air!” She said. “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.”

She then repeated her explanation in a subsequent post, where she added that it was a “silly joke” and nothing more.

Several users in the replies wrote that they believed the blunder wasn’t as serious as some had made it out to be and that it was clear it was a mistake.

“Don’t worry about it,” one user wrote. “Clear you were only having a moment of levity with [the] crew.”

Comedian Sooz Kemper also chimed in, writing that it was the “best news I’ve seen all year” and thanked the newsreader for giving her an unexpected laugh.

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