TV hosts and news anchors are supposedly the human embodiment of professionalism. We expect them to do their jobs with a straight face, never breaking composure. But just like anyone else, they too, make mistakes.
Even better, these mistakes are recorded on live television for all to see. Over and over and over again.
These unexpected on-air mistakes can be hilarious, but also disturbing and offensive. From a reporter who accidentally drew a penis on screen, to footage of an actual sexual assault on BBC. It’s a unique and genuine look at the people hosting our favourite TV shows
With that, here are 9 times that live TV hosts acted totally inappropriately.
Everyone loves to engage in a little trash talk when it comes to sports – news anchors included!
New Zealand’s Prime News presenter Eric Young was reading a sports news clip about the match between Auckland and Counties Manukau when he did the unthinkable: he flashed an obscene gesture.
The new anchor was unaware that the broadcast had cut to him when he raised a double-barrelled two finger salute. As it turns, out he was pointing the gesture at one of the producers, who was a fan of Counties Manukau.
Young later said it was the most embarrassing incident of his 22-year career in TV.
“I’m genuinely mortified. That sort of stuff is in-house banter,” he said. “That should never leave the newsroom, and I’m just so embarrassed that it got out.”
“He has it coming every time I say those words out loud,” added Young, talking about the said producer. “And I always do that, every time I say those words. It was just a slight disconnect between me and a director.”
Sexual assault on live television
Perhaps the most inappropriate (and most disturbing) thing a live TV has ever done.
On a 1976 episode of BBC’s Top of the Pops, 18-year-old Sylvia Edwards was molested by DJ and TV host Jimmy Savile – right as they were filming. The following footage shows the young lady screaming and trying to get away as Savile gropes her despite being surrounded by other women.
“I felt his fingers go towards my bottom,” said Edwards, now age 59. “It was disgusting. I felt so ashamed.” Worse, Edwards tried to complain to the show’s producer, but the man quickly brushed her off and told her to “get lost.”
“He was committing a sexual assault live on the BBC and no one gave a damn,” added Edwards.
A draft finding by a retired High Court judge has found that Savile carried out four rapes and one attempted rape, as well as 61 sexual assaults, during his time at the BBC.
Unfortunately, Savile died in 2011 without paying for his crimes.
Weatherman loses it over penis-shaped cloud
Sometimes it’s raining men, sometimes it’s raining certain parts of them.
In New Zealand, a weatherman couldn’t contain his chuckles after seeing a penis-shaped cloud in his part of the broadcast.
“When you take a step back,” he said, talking to his co-hosts, “is there anything else you see in this picture?”
“You didn’t have to say that,” replied one of the anchors, struggling to contain his laughter.
“It’s about as subtle as a sledgehammer, mate,” added the weatherman. “There’s a lot of detail!”
TV host calls black singer a monkey
In Brazil, a TV host lost his job after he called a popular singer a macaca, which means monkey.
Marcao Chumbo Grosso and his co-host were talking about singer Ludmilla snubbing her fans when he made the racist comment. He tried correcting the situation by saying he was pertaining to himself, but the damage had been done.
“It’s something you can’t understand. She was poor, a monkey… Poor, poor but really poor. I always tell my friends: I was poor and a monkey too. Was I not…I am rich today, healthy, thank God,” said Marcao.
The host was later fired by his station, TV Record.
Polish journalist insults Russians, gets punched in the face
In November of 2016, a brawl broke out in a television studio after a Polish journalist said that Russians live “in sh*t.”
The Russian TV show ‘Voting Right’ was having a debate on average salaries in different countries when guest Tomasz Maciejczuk claimed that workers in Russia make less than their counterparts in Romania and Latvia.
It’s also here where he said that, “Ukrainians want to live like normal people, not in sh*t, like you (in Russia).”
Naturally, this didn’t sit well with the Russians. Roman Babayan, the host, threw a piece of paper at Tomasz face, then yelled, “You’re the ones who live in sh*t!”
Another guest, Ihor Markhov, then punched Tomasz in the forehead when the latter refused to leave the studio.
Russian state media later described the incident as another case of Russophobia from a foreign journalist.
A news reporter that’s all about the thug life
In 2014, New Zealand’s TV3 political editor Patrick Gower did something totally inappropriate – and totally badass.
During a report inside a law library, Gower’s loud talking caused an irate student to stand up and yell, “This is a f***cking library!” To which Gower responded with a snappy, “This is the f***ing news!”
The brilliant comeback led social media to dub the TV host as a ‘news thug’, even making memes of him putting on the thug life shades.
Sadly, Gower later revealed it was all a skit, and that the student was in on it.
“It wasn’t for the news…I hate to let everyone down with the truth but it was a skit, not a blooper,” said Gower. “You know me, I don’t swear.”
Australian presenter touches his co-host’s pussy… bow
Last year, the hosts of The Today Show lost it after Karl Stefanovic tried to grab Lisa Wilkinson’s pussy… bow.
Lisa was wearing the long tie when curiosity got the best of Karl. He tried to touch the pussybow before realising how far it went down. “That shirt just goes on … Ooh sorry,” he said, stopping himself.
Sylvia Jeffreys then remarked: “What are you reaching for? That’s out of bounds man!”
With Karl clearly embarrassed, Lisa defended her co-host, saying: “He only touched my pussy bow,” she said. “It’s okay. But my pussy bow goes all the way to the floor so it’s a good thing you didn’t touch it all the way to the floor.”
She added: “How long have we been together? Nine years. You’re allowed to touch the pussy bow.”
However, this flustered Karl even more. “Some say too long, but I don’t,” he said, “I’ve started to sweat, I just didn’t mean that. At all.”
Infamous TV host can’t get over someone named Dikshit
What’s a list about inappropriate TV hosts without including New Zealand’s Paul Henry?
In 2010, the former ‘Breakfast’ host mocked the surname of New Delhi’s chief minister Sheila Dikshit (pronounced as ‘Dixit’). He even deliberately mispronounced it a few of times after his co-hosts corrected him.
“I’ve known about her for a while and I’ve been laughing ever since,” he said. “It’s so appropriate because she’s Indian.”
The racial slurs prompted New Zealand to apologise to the Indian government.
New reporter draws penis by accident
I guess you could consider this news as… hard-hitting.
Siobhan Riley, news reporter for Michigan TV station WJRT, had a bit of a cock up in 2013. While reporting about horrible traffic conditions in Saginaw, she unknowingly sketched a penis on the touchscreen map.
The lady never commented about the mishap, but those on Twitter poked fun about the hazards of ‘heading downtown’.