Mariam Moshiri was caught with raised eyebrows and a staring expression to show the obscene gesture on Wednesday at the start of the midday news bulletin of the renowned outlet.
When she realized what was happening, she quickly lowered her hand and erased her expression before quickly starting to read news about former British Prime Minister Boris Johnson in a serious and subdued manner.
On Thursday, she apologized for the “stupid joke” on the social network X. She said it was meant for the team, with Moshiri pretending to count down the seconds until the show started.
“When we got to 1, I twisted my finger as a joke and didn’t realize it was going to be caught on camera. It was a personal joke with the team and I’m very sorry it went out on air. I didn’t mean for it to happen and I’m sorry if I offended or upset anyone,” she wrote.
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
Some users took offense, commenting under her post that it was unprofessional and used the incident to call for cuts to BBC funding.
However, the presenter was supported by dozens of people who found the moment hilarious, with one writing:
“As a BBC license payer I demand more of this kind of behaviour.”
— R A W S A L E R T S (@rawsalerts) December 6, 2023
This is not the first earl with a BBC presenter. In 2010, weather forecaster Tomasz Schafernacker again gave the middle finger to news anchor Simon McCoy. After realizing he was caught on camera, he panicked and made a mad attempt to pretend to scratch his chin.
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