BBC reporter gave middle finger to the camera not realising she was live on air

A BBC presenter has apologised after greeting viewers of a news broadcast with her middle finger raised.

Maryam Moshiri, a chief presenter on the BBC News channel, was seen to make the gesture after a countdown to the start of the show.

She quickly realised she was live on air and reverted to normal.

The incident was flagged by the Clean Feed @ The TV Room account on Twitter/X. It wrote: “Been a while since a middle finger gesture made it on to BBC News …”

Responding, Moshiri said she had been having a “private joke”.

The presenter said: “Hey, I’m so sorry about this. I was having a private joke with the team in the gallery and pretending to count down as the director was counting me down from 10-0 … including the fingers to show the number.

“When we got to 1 I turned finger [sic] around as a joke and did not realise that this would be caught on camera.

“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.”