A BBC news anchor is apologizing for flipping the bird — live on air.
Maryam Moshiri flashed a middle finger at the camera at the start of a Wednesday segment on the British television network, apparently unaware that she was being filmed.
Her face went blank and she instantly dropped her hand when she realized the camera was live.
The anchor began the segment as if nothing had happened: “Live from London, this is BBC News.”
“This isn’t satire,” one X user posted along with a video of the incident. “Maryam Moshiri summing up the professionalism currently at the BBC.”
WARNING: The following video contains content that some viewers may find offensive.
This isn’t satire, an actual BBC News presenter got caught giving the middle finger live.
Maryam Moshiri summing up the professionalism currently at the BBC. pic.twitter.com/QoJ4FT133J
— Chris Rose (@ArchRose90) December 7, 2023
Moshiri later explained the episode as a joke gone wrong.
“Hey everyone, yesterday just before the top of the hour I was joking around a bit with the team in the gallery,” she said in a Wednesday post on X.
“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 [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.”
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.
— Maryam Moshiri (@BBCMaryam) December 7, 2023
“This is what you pay your licence fee for,” one of the BBC’s critics said of the rude gesture.
Residents of the U.K. are obligated by law to pay a yearly license fee to watch television. The fee is currently £159 per year — equal to about $200 — which goes directly to the BBC.
It’s unclear if Moshiri is facing repercussions for her on-air obscenity.
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.