A BBC producer has claimed to be ‘investigating’ who leaked a clip of BBC News presenter Maryam Moshiri accidentally giving the middle finger live on air, saying ‘it could be an early Christmas for someone’.
In viral footage Maryam Moshiri can be seen raising her eyebrows and flipping off the camera in a ‘private joke’ as she comes on-screen after the programme’s famous musical countdown ends.
Ms Moshiri, 46, one of the network’s chief presenters, seems to quickly realise she is live and snatches her hand away before beginning to read out the headlines, much to the amusement of many on social media. She apologised for the gaffe on Thursday morning.
But producer Robert Coxwell shared a post on Thursday in which he claimed to be ‘deep’ in to the BBC’s programming in an apparent bid to discover the identity of the person he claims ‘sent [the clip] out’.
Adding a gif of actor Leonardo DiCaprio in the film The Great Gatsby, Mr Coxwell wrote: ‘I am so deep into the workings of Autorot I can’t tell you. Christmas could be coming early for someone!’
Robert Coxwell claimed to be tracking down who leaked the clip, adding: ‘It could be an early Christmas for someone’
In a separate post, Mr Coxwell said: ‘I was the gallery producer when this happened.
‘We were all counting the numbers, looking forward to a brilliant show. A bit of fun that should have been private but regrettably it went out and someone’s found the need to amplify it.’
Replying to an X user, he claimed that ‘at the time just two people on X noticed’ Ms Moshiri’s mistake, adding: ‘It went largely ignored for 10 hours. Until someone went onto a BBC system, clipped it up and sent it out.’
Mr Coxwell also wrote: ‘Luckily Autorot provides a log of who did what because it triggers an email to say the clip they wanted is ready to be downloaded’.
When MailOnline highlighted the tweets to the BBC, a spokesperson said they have now been deleted.
The corporation did not respond when asked if it was investigating.
After the error, Ms Moshiri quickly recovered. ‘Live from London, this is BBC News,’ she says, having swiftly adopted a more serious demeanour.
This morning she has issued an apology on social media saying she ‘did not realise’ the moment would be caught on camera and she is ‘sorry if I offended or upset anyone’.
The chief presenter seems to quickly realise she is live and snatches her hand away, adopting a more appropriate demeanor as she begins to read out the headlines
Ms Moshiri 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 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.’
However in a sign she may have realised her hand gesture was aired, she fluffed the end of the headline, referring to the ‘coronaverse’ pandemic.
The faux pas happened on the world feed of BBC News at 12 noon UK time on Wednesday. The channel in the UK was showing Prime Minister’s Questions, so the global audience took headlines delivered from London.
Viewers have reacted online, with some suggesting that the motion showed a lack of professionalism while others joked that they felt the same about their work.
Maryam Moshiri was announced as part of a new lineup of top BBC News channel presenters back in February
It was 7am where Twitter/X user NeilFleisc79365 was when he captured the moment, posting it online with the caption: ‘Wow’
Ms Moshiri spent a long stint as the BBC’s business news presenter, interviewing some of the most prominent CEOs in the world including Jeff Bezos.
She was a Lead News Presenter for the channel for more than 15 years before being promoted to Chief Presenter in 2019.
Ms Moshiri studied languages at UCL before going on to complete a postgraduate diploma in broadcast journalism.
It’s not the first example of presenters swearing on BBC News, with the corporation forced to apologise after weatherman Tomasz Schafernaker made the same rude gesture.
In 2010, Mr Schafernaker was about to do the weather forecast when news presenter Simon McCoy made a light-hearted remark.
‘Now we will have the weather forecast in a minute and or course it will be 100 per cent accurate and provide all the detail you can possibly want,’ said McCoy. ‘I’ve just seen Tom Schafernaker preparing for it.’
In the belief that he was off-camera, Mr Schafernaker was seen raising his middle finger to McCoy in a gesture.
Instantly realising his mistake, Mr Schafernaker moved his hand to his face to disguise it, seemingly pretending to scratch his chin.
The clip has racked up millions of views online and cemented his place as one of the beeb’s most popular weathermen.
In September, Ms Moshiri made headlines with her hilarious impromptu depiction of a rare blue supermoon when a picture of the lunar event failed to appear on screen.
‘I’m so sorry, I don’t have a picture to show you,’ Ms Moshiri told viewers in a panic.
In 2010, Schafernaker was about to present the weather forecast when he showed his middle finger to newsreader Simon McCoy
In September, Moshiri made headlines with her hilarious impromptu depiction of a rare blue supermoon when a picture of the lunar event failed to appear on screen
The presenter improvised, holding her hands up to make a circle shape – meant to signify a full moon.
Ms Moshiri was announced as part of a new lineup of top BBC News channel presenters back in February.
In July, it was announced that she would be taking over The Daily Global programme, which she continues to host alongside anchoring.
The BBC has been contacted for comment.