A BBC news anchor was caught flipping the middle finger live on-air.
Maryam Moshiri, one of the network's 'chief presenters,' was seen making the gesture at the top of the newscast after the program's opening music concluded. Moshiri immediately shifted into the newscast, seemingly unflustered by the incident.
The anchor addressed the now-viral video clip in a post shared on her X account, claiming she "was joking around" with her colleagues while being counted down by the news program's director.
"Hey everyone, yesterday just before the top of the hour I was joking around a bit with the team in the gallery," Moshiri wrote. "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 finger around as a joke and did not realise that this would be caught on camera," Moshiri continued. "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."
The incident was referenced by numbers social media users online and led to meme screengrabs. Moshiri was promoted to chief presenter in February and has contributed to BBC for more than 20 years, according to Deadline.com.