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Updated: Tuesday 17 August 2010

BBC’s Tomasz Schafernaker shows finger to Simon McCoy

The BBC has been forced to apologise after award-winning weather presenter Tomasz Schafernaker was seen giving a one-fingered gesture live on air.

The incident occurred just before 11 o’clock in a routine handover to the weather on the BBC News channel. After realising the mistake, Mr Schafernaker quickly turned the abusive gesture into one that looked like he was rubbing his chin. Simon McCoy, who was presenting at the time, commented “Every now and then there’s always one mistake: that was it”.

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 News Channel presenter live in the studio acknowledged a mistake had been made, and we apologise for any offence caused.”

Remember Tomasz, there are two key rules when working in TV:

1) Don’t forget to take your mic off when you have finished to broadcasting

2) Treat every camera as a live camera

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  • Michael Gibbon

    Dear sir

    I have been having a look on the internet for an e-mail address for
    Tomasz, because there is an article that has been published today in
    the Daily Mail about his gesture on camera.

    I was a little concerned that he may have been disciplined because of
    this, and if this is the case this would have been totally unfair to
    him because of what has happened in the past with other presenters.

    I have just sent the following message to the reporter at the Daily
    Mail, and I wonder if you would inform Tomasz about this in case
    anything is said to him.

    Best wishes

    Michael Gibbon

    Dear sir

    Could you please pass the message on to Liz Thomas who has written an
    item on todays paper regarding the BBC Weatherman.

    Dear Liz

    I thought I would drop you a line regarding the article you have
    published today in todays Daily Mail regarding Thomasz Schafernaker
    the BBC Weatherman.

    This is not the first time this sort of thing has happened on the BBC
    and I think the Producers and Directors occasionally play tricks on
    the broadcasters. If you look at the look on Simon McCoys’ face just
    before they are about to go to the weather, I can tell that something
    is about to happen.

    About 20 years ago, a weatherman called Rob McKelwee started working
    for the BBC, and at the end of one of his very first broadcasts, the
    camera went off him. A couple of seconds later the camera went back
    on him and he was telling the producers ‘If the Bas~~~ds believe that,
    they will believe anything’. He then started to laugh. His laughing
    did not last for very long, because I think the Directors must have
    told him in his ear that he was still on-air.

    He did not react as bad as the broadcaster in your article today, he
    just looked absolutely stunned and his bottom jaw nearly hit the

    I could never understand why this has never been broadcast on one of
    the outtake programs. I have been looking for it ever since it

    I am sure they will have this on video tape, and I can never
    understand why this has never been re-played, even if they bleep out
    the swear word.

    Best wishes

    Michael Gibbon