In a shocking moment captured live on air, BBC News presenter Maryam Moshiri was seen giving the middle finger to viewers worldwide. This outrageous incident occurred mere hours before the BBC announced a contentious increase in its licence fee, as reported by The Sun.
While seated at her desk during the broadcast, Moshiri appeared to be joking with off-screen colleagues when she inadvertently flashed the offensive gesture to the camera. The embarrassing gaffe greeted viewers tuning into the BBC news feed at noon UK time, right as the broadcast began.
Moshiri, 46, a seasoned figure in the network, was visibly shaken upon realizing the broadcast was live, quickly regaining composure to continue the news program with the standard opening line, “Live from London, this is BBC News.”
This awkward on-air blunder coincided with news that the BBC licence fee is set to rise by over £10 next year, sparking further controversy. Amidst the cost of living pressures, the government has moderated the planned increase, as per reports.
The ongoing debate about UK taxpayers funding the BBC, a service they already finance through taxes, has been a long-standing issue. Despite a two-year freeze at £159, the licence fee was initially scheduled to rise with inflation post-April 2024, potentially reaching £173.30, a £15 hike. However, The Sun reports that ministers are urging the BBC to align with September’s CPI inflation rate of 6.7%, leading to a more modest increase of £10.65 to £169.65 annually.
BBC’s funding has seen a decline from £3.8 billion to £3.74 billion over the last year, coinciding with a drop of 500,000 in licence fee payers, now totalling 24.3 million. The corporation attributes this decrease to stiff competition from streaming services like Netflix and emerging platforms such as GB News.
Maryam Moshiri later issued an apology for the inadvertent gesture, but the incident has added fuel to the ongoing debate about the BBC’s funding and the burden of the licence fee on UK taxpayers.