'I wasn’t ‘flipping the bird’ at viewers': BBC presenter apologises after giving middle finger live on air in ‘private joke’

7 December 2023, 08:52 | Updated: 7 December 2023, 08:57

Maryam Moshiri made the gesture ahead of a news programme yesterday
Maryam Moshiri made the gesture ahead of a news programme yesterday. Picture: BBC

By Asher McShane

A BBC news presenter has issued an apology after being caught on camera giving a middle finger in a ‘private joke’ ahead of a news bulletin.

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Maryam Moshiri made the gesture as she came on screen - quickly realising the mistake before starting to read news headlines.

Ms Moshiri issued a full and candid apology on Twitter today, saying she was taking part in a ‘private joke’ with her crew and she was ‘sorry if I offended or upset anyone’.

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

“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.”

The mishap took place ahead of the world feed of BBC News at midday yesterday.