BBC news anchor Maryam Moshiri, who was accidentally captured giving the middle finger at the start of a news bulletin, has apologised for a "silly joke" not meant for live broadcast.
On Wednesday, Moshiri, who is the BBC's Chief Presenter, was seen after the introduction to BBC News at noon raising her eyebrows and middle finger directly at the camera.
She immediately lowered her hand and blanked her expression before reading headlines about Boris Johnson's appearance at the COVID inquiry currently underway.
She apologised on X on Thursday morning and claimed she had been joking around with the team, pretending to count down using her fingers.
"When we got to one 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, adding a face palm emoji.
While some took issue with Moshiri, she was also inundated with support from people who found the moment amusing.
Interestingly, the moment didn't initially go viral.
Robert Coxwell, a photographer and journalist, wrote on X that he was the gallery producer for the show and said it was "regrettable" that someone felt "the need to amplify it", adding that only two people on X had noticed but it "went largely ignored for 10 hours. Until someone went on to a BBC system, clipped it up and sent it out."2023-12-07T22:57:20Z dg43tfdfdgfd