BBC News apologizes for weatherman gesture

Wed Aug 18, 2010 8:50pm EDT
 
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By Stuart Kemp

LONDON (Hollywood Reporter) - A cold front passed over the BBC News channel late Tuesday as the show's weatherman flipped the bird to his news anchor.

Simon McCoy, linking to the weather, perhaps with a hint of sarcasm, told viewers the weather was coming up, and would of course be "100% accurate and provide all the detail you could possible want."

At that stage, the cameras cut to Tomasz Schafernaker and his middle-finger salute as McCoy's female co-host gasped. But it didn't stop there as the fast-acting weatherman, realizing he was on screen, swiftly pretended to rub his face in much the same way a cheeky school kid might do when caught in the act.

The camera quickly cut back to a composed McCoy, who simply stated: "Every now and then there's always one mistake, that was it."

The BBC immediately apologized. "Tomasz was not aware that he was on air, and whilst the gesture was only shown for a second, it was not acceptable," a spokesman said.

The weatherman later wrote on his website: "Prior to a live weather bulletin, I made a gesture off camera joking with my fellow presenters and without warning the camera went live to the weather studio ... I am very sorry for any offence that might have been caused by my actions."

The Polish-born weatherman began presenting on BBC Southeast Today in 2001 before joining national BBC outlets in 2006. It's not the first time he's apologized. Back in 2007 he described the Western Isles and the west Highlands in Scotland as "nowheresville" during a live weather broadcast. Earlier this year he posed for a gay magazine in a pair of shorts.