'It was a silly joke': BBC news anchor apologizes after giving the finger on air

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A BBC news anchor was accidentally caught flipping the bird as a “silly joke” during a live broadcast on Wednesday.

The viral footage showed host Maryam Moshiri, who is chief BBC presenter, giving the finger following the station’s recognizable countdown during the noontime news.

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Moshiri soon realized she was live on air, lowered her finger and composed herself quickly, beginning the broadcast with “Live from London, this is BBC News.”

She continued the segment reading out headlines on former British Prime Minister Boris Johnson apologizing “for the pain and loss suffered in the U.K. during the coronavirus pandemic.”

Moshiri took to X, formerly Twitter, on Thursday morning to apologize for her “joke.”

“When we got to 1 I turned (my) finger around as a joke and did not realise that this would be caught on camera,” she wrote.

“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,” she said.

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Some social media users were quick to criticize the anchor’s unprofessionalism with calls to defund the BBC.

You got caught and now come out with this pitiful explanation. Resign,” said one user.

Others found the bit amusing.

We’re with you, Maryam. If you are struggling to see the countdown, let us know,” optical retail chain Specsaver jokingly commented.

“Let humans be humans! Was a great laugh,” said one user.

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