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BBC news anchor apologizes for middle finger on-air gesture

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BBC News anchor Maryam Moshiri has apologized for accidentally flashing the middle finger at the start of a live broadcast on Wednesday.

The incident occurred after the program’s opening countdown, when Moshiri raised her middle finger and eyebrows before quickly composing herself and delivering the headlines.

In a statement released on Thursday, Moshiri explained that the gesture was meant to be a private joke with her team and was not intended for viewers.

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She expressed her regret for the incident and apologized to anyone who was offended.

“When we got to 1 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.

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Moshiri’s gaffe, though minor compared to other live mistakes made on BBC News, has drawn comparisons to a similar incident involving BBC weatherman Tomasz Schafernaker in 2010.

In that instance, Schafernaker jokingly flipped the bird at a news presenter and then attempted to cover it up by pretending to scratch his chin.

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