‘A silly joke’ gone wrong: BBC presenter apologises for on-air middle finger gesture

Key Points
  • A BBC news presenter gave the middle finger live on air.
  • The moment was shared widely on social media.
  • Maryam Moshiri apologised, saying it was a “silly joke” gone wrong.
A BBC presenter who gave the middle finger live on air has apologised, saying it was a “silly joke” gone wrong.
Maryam Moshiri, one of the British public broadcaster’s chief news presenters, was on Wednesday caught flipping the bird as the noon news bulletin, which is introduced with a countdown, began.

Realising that she was now on air, she quickly lowered her finger and began to read out the headlines.

She took to X, formerly known as Twitter, on Thursday to apologise for the now-viral moment saying it was a “private joke” that she didn’t realise would go to air.
“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,” she wrote on X.
“When we got to 1 I turned finger around as a joke and did not realise that this would be caught on camera.”
Moshiri said she was sorry if the gesture upset or offended anyone.

“It was a silly joke that was meant for a small number of my mates,” she wrote, adding a “face palm” emoji.

The moment was shared widely on social media, including by the United Kingdom’s Conservative Party. It attempted to turn it into a meme, which sparked a backlash.
“Labour when you ask for their plans to tackle illegal immigration,” the Conservative Party’s official X account wrote, referring to the country’s Opposition party.
Two Tory MPs, Alicia Kearns and Tobias Ellwood, wrote on X that the post should be deleted.

“Amazed this has not – despite requests – been taken down, it is beneath us,” Kearns wrote.

Their comments came as the UK’s Conservative Prime Minister Rishi Sunak faces a revolt over a new plan to send asylum Rwanda.
Sunak is facing the biggest challenge to his year-long tenure as he tries to stop MPs on the Conservative Party’s right wing from rebelling over their demand that Britain should quit international treaties to set its own migration policy.
His and he is facing questions as to whether he can get his key policy through a vote in parliament. Some Conservative MPs said on Thursday that Sunak could face a leadership challenge.
The draft legislation comes three weeks after Britain’s Supreme Court ruled that Rwanda on the southern coast of England, and that the plan would breach British and international law.

With Reuters via the Australian Associated Press.

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