BBC News blunder: Presenter gives middle finger to camera as corporation increases license fee

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A BBC presenter blunder has received backlash online as a popular presenter makes rude gesture to the camera live on air.

Wednesday’s (6th December) 12pm news broadcast gave viewers more than they bargained for when news reader Maryam Moshiri opened the show to a shot of her making a rude gesture with her middle finger in the air.

The moment was short lived as she is seen immediately swiping her hand away and switching to a serious persona to read out the headlines for the programme.

Viewers since then have taken to social media to share their horror of tuning into the show.

#DefundtheBBC was reignited following the incident with viewers claiming they are insulted at the quality of taxpayers spending.

Former London MEP Lance Foreman wrote: “BBC accidentally showing what they really think licence fee payers”.

Issuing her apology on social media Maryam Moshiri wrote: “Hey everyone, yesterday just before the top of the hour I was joking around a bit with the team in the gallery.

Talk TV host Piers Morgan found the funny side to the error.

 “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.”

The incident follows recent backlash this week from prominent Manchester Evening News editor Sarah Lester who spoke to the Sun warning that the BBC’s cutbacks will have a damning effect on regional news outlets. Concerns grow that the state-funded organisation has the potential to isolate and damage smaller regional papers who currently rely on a declining readership and limited advertising.

The government announced today that there will be an increase in the TV license fee for the coming year.

Every house in the UK will now have to pay an extra £10.50 on top of the current £159 – a 6.6% rise which is roughly in line with the current inflation rate. The increased fee will come into place in April after the price had been frozen for the last two years.

The government’s BBC Funding Model Review has praised the work of the BBC calling it a ‘great national institution’ but admits that ‘there are challenges around the sustainability of the current licence fee funding model.’

The BBC has said it was expecting a rise closer to £15 – around 9% – following the rate of inflation over the next 12 months – a metric which has been used in the past.

The BBC board has commented: “Our content budgets are now impacted, which in turn will have a significant impact on the wider creative sector across the UK. We will confirm the consequences of this as we work through our budgets in the coming months.”

This is not the first air mistake made by the BBC with weather presenter Tomasz Schafernaker creating an iconic moment during his morning broadcast in 2010 where Simon McCoy jokingly said his forecast would be “100% accurate”.

The unaware Tomasz replied with the middle finger as the camera panned onto him in a clip which has been viewed on YouTube over 2.6 million times.

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