BBC News presenter Maryam Moshiri inadvertently sparked a viral moment when she was caught giving the middle finger during a live broadcast.
On Wednesday afternoon, Maryam was delivering the headlines on the world feed of BBC News, when she was caught making the obscene gesture in the direction of the camera at the beginning of the live feed.
Undeterred by the faux pas, the newscaster simply composed herself and began reading from the autocue about the latest updates in the Boris Johnson Covid inquiry.
Fortunately for Maryam, the moment took place when the UK feed was showing Prime Minister’s Questions, so only international viewers saw the moment play out live.
However, the clip has since been widely shared online, collectively racking up more than one million views on X (formerly Twitter).
The following morning, Maryam shared her side of the story, telling her followers: “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 to zero... including the fingers to show the number. So from 10 fingers held up to one.
“When we got to ‘one’, I turned [my] 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.”
HuffPost UK has contacted the BBC for comment.
Interestingly, this isn’t the first time Maryam has made headlines due to her hand gestures, although her previous instance was a lot more family-friendly.
Over the summer, Maryam was covering a story about the supermoon, telling viewers she was “so sorry, I don’t have a picture to show you”, before making a moon shape with her hands instead.
Former BBC weather presenter Tomasz Schafernaker previously found himself in a similar position to Maryam over a decade ago.
When anchor Simon McCoy made a quip about the accuracy of his weather forecasting, Tomasz flipped the bird towards him, not realising the cameras were just about to cut to him, leading him to hurriedly pretend to be scratching his chin instead.