BBC apologizes for weatherman gesture

200,000 watch YouTube clip within hours of posting

LONDON -- A cold front passed over the BBC News channel as eagle eyed viewers spotted weatherman Tomasz Schafernaker flipping the bird to the show's news anchor Simon McCoy.

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 Schafernaker and his middle finger salute as McCoy's female co-host gasped at the insult.

But it didn't stop there as the fast-acting weatherman, realizing he was on screen, swiftly pretending to rub his face in much the same way a cheeky school kid might do when caught in the act.

McCoy maintained a live newsreader's cool, simply stating, "Every now and then there's always one mistake, that was it."

The BBC immediately issued an apology. ""The News Channel presenter in the studio acknowledged a mistake had been made, and we apologize for any offence caused," a BBC spokesman said.

"Tomasz was not aware that he was on air, and whilst the gesture was only shown for a second, it was not acceptable."

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 clip is already on YouTube and had garnered more than 200,000 hits within hours of its posting.

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.
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