"It was a private joke with the team"
Maryam Moshiri has issued an apology after she was caught giving the middle finger on live TV.
The BBC presenter was briefly seen with a raised finger as BBC News switched to the studio for the headlines.
Realising she had been caught on camera, Maryam quickly returned to a traditional news anchor stance and told viewers:
“Live from London, this is BBC News.”
Maryam has now taken to X to apologise for her actions.
She 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 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
Maryam’s actions were met with a mixed reaction. Whilst some saw the funny side others were not as forgiving.
One individual wrote: “Wild world we live in when you have to apologise for something like this.”
Another commented: “You ‘giving the bird’ is what sums up BBC and its feelings to Brits and us who pay the license fee.
“You should resign or be sacked for this total disrespect.”
A third said: “Don’t feel bad about it. The news is so depressing and the clip is cheering everyone up.
“I laughed out loud, everyone has laughed out loud.
“Thank you thank you thank you. The funny to serious in a flash is just brilliant.”
In 2010, BBC weatherman Tomasz Schafernaker was also captured sticking his middle finger up.
The clip showed Tomasz preparing to give a weather update and news presenter Simon McCoy making a humorous comment.
Unaware that the cameras were rolling, Tomasz stuck his middle finger up without realising his gesture was caught on camera.
After almost immediately realising what was happening, Tomasz quickly moved his hand to his chin to make it look as though he was scratching it.
After the clip went viral, it received a huge amount of views and Tomasz ended up becoming one of the most popular weathermen on the BBC.