Middle fingers to mistaken identity: The most hilarious yet mortifying TV news blunders

You just know they lie awake at night thinking about these

Today, a BBC News reader was forced to apologise after she accidentally flipped off the camera live on air reading the lunchtime news. Maryam Moshiri, a chief presenter on BBC News said she is “so sorry it went out on air” and has already been made into a meme all over the internet because of the blunder.

But before this, there have been so many iconic blooper moments across UK news channels that would be mortifying enough to have me literally never thinking of anything else again.

So here are all the most iconic but mortifying TV news blunders from over the years:

Camera flip off

The BBC’s Maryam Moshiri is obviously now a massive meme after she accidentally flipped off the camera live on air yesterday lunchtime. Honestly, she’s so relatable.

Good boy

Possibly one of my favourite TV news blunders from the list, on BBC Look North earlier this year, one presenter ended up saying “good boy” instead of “good bye”. Guaranteed she’ll still be thinking about this in 40 years time.

‘Good evening Daddy’

With very similar vibes, in September this year, a Sky News reader ended up calling a guest daddy instead of Danny. He says: “Danny Shaw who joins us now, good evening daddy” before quickly correcting: “Uh, Danny thank you for being with us.”

Guy Goma interview

What a relic! In 2006, Guy Goma was at the BBC for a job interview but in a mix-up, mistaking him for Guy Kenwey, a music industry expert, he was put live on air to talk about the future of the music industry. Imagine just how much you would shit yourself.

But earlier this year, Guy Goma actually came out and said he was planning on suing the BBC over lost earnings they got from the clip, with it being viewed over five million times. He told the Accidental Celebrities podcast: “I contacted them, they didn’t answer me. Did they pay me for that interview? No.”

Nicola Sturgeon mistaken for a gorilla

Back in 2016, the BBC had to apologise after they accidentally showed footage of a gorilla when discussing Scotland’s first minister Nicola Sturgeon. They addressed the mistake on air by saying: “I’m sorry we’ve very clearly run the wrong pictures.”

“The story we will be talking about later, as you probably guessed by the pictures, is about the escaped gorilla at London Zoo.” Yikes.

Big stretch!

2023 seems to be the year for BBC on air blunders because earlier this year newsreader Lukwesa Burak was caught mid stretch as she wasn’t expecting the camera to pan back to her. She immediately clocks the camera, looks shocked and then just continues to stare at her notes for 30 awkward seconds while the camera stays on her.

Huw Edwards blunder

In the middle of the BBC presenter scandal earlier this year, before Huw Edwards was named, Victoria Derbyshire made a blunder when she accidentally said “Huw” instead of “who” when talking about the scandal on Newsnight. Uh oh.

The classic kids bursting in

This feels like DECADES ago. But probably one of the most famous TV news blunders in 2017, Robert Kelly was live on BBC News when his four year old daughter bursts into the room and starts dancing about, shortly followed by her brother James who comes crashing in in a baby walker. His wife then bursts in and tries to frantically get the children out of the shot. Honestly such a scripture moment.

‘Somebody’s just opened the door’

Last month Channel 4 News also had a bit of an awkward one when weatherman Liam Dutton gets distracted mid forecast to let everyone know that “Somebody’s just opened the door”. He awkwardly looks around and sighs before the broadcast ends.

He later tweeted: “Thanks for asking, but no need to worry, I’m fine. The wrong take of the pre-recorded weather was aired. Who was at the door shall remain a mystery…”

The OG camera flip off

TV news blunders


In 2010, a similar thing to yesterday’s incident happened when a BBC weather presenter also gave the middle finger without realising he was on air. The BBC was forced to apologise: “The News Channel presenter in the studio acknowledged a mistake had been made, and we apologise for any offence caused. Tomasz was not aware that he was on air, and whilst the gesture was only shown for a second, it was not acceptable.”

Mike Bushell falls into the pool

Another classic one! In 2018, BBC sports presenter Mike Bushell fell into the pool when he was trying to interview Commonwealth Games swimmers Sarah Vasey, Adam Peaty, Siobhan-Marie O’Connor, Ben Proud and James Guy. As he gets into the water he said: “I’m going to be careful because I’ve got a sound pack on” before missing a step and falling straight in the pool. I feel I would never recover x

Poor guy

In 2009, a comma was missed out from BBC’s Jonathan Charles’ news script and he ended up telling everyone that he was kept hidden for two decades and forced to bear children. The news bulletin starts: “This is BBC World News I’m Jonathan Charles kept hidden for almost decades and forced to bear children”. Poor, poor man.

He’s a runner he’s a track star

In 2017, BBC journalist Tom Donkin ended up pure sprinting across the studio after standing in the wrong place and taking up a position in front of the wrong camera. The poor guy sprints across the studio and then awkwardly turns round and begins: “Hello and welcome” before getting into a report about a hurricane.

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Featured images via YouTube.