THE BBC has apologised to viewers after weatherman Tomasz Schafernaker was shown live on air giving a presenter the middle finger. “The News Channel presenter live in the studio acknowledged a mistake had been made, and we apologise for any offence caused,” it said.
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A BBC NEWS WEATHERMAN is likely to cause a disciplinary storm after he was caught giving a newsreader the middle finger live on air this morning – and it’s not even the first time he’s caused hassle.
Meet Tomasz Schafernaker, a Polish-born broadcaster who does the morning weather bulletins on the BBC News channel and occasionally on radio. He’s been in the weather business for a decade now, and has been a TV weatherman for five years or more.
But as any broadcaster will tell you, being on air so regularly means regular mess-ups: and here’s our top five Schafernacker gaffes.
1. The time he gave the middle finger, live on air
Here’s Schafernacker taking obvious exception to the news anchor’s back-handed compliment, only for the director to switch to his camera just at the same moment.
Extra points are deserved, we think, for the very graceful cover-up.
2. The time he threw a strop because he didn’t know if he was on air or not
Oh, TV news. It’s also so hectic, what with the constant switching between in-studio cameras, video feeds, having guests come in and out of the studio… the production gallery is a pretty hectic place to be.
Understandable, then, if once in a while the gallery is so busy that the presenter is not given confirmation through their earpieces that they are, in fact, on air. Except apparently, in Tomasz’s eyes anyway, it’s not quite so understandable.
3. The time he couldn’t stop laughing at a ‘frozen ball’ gag
Britain gets cold. Regularly. And, in keeping with the various seasons, the BBC weather reports have a customised intro card showing a blaring sun, or a patch of brown leaves – or, when the weather deems it appropriate, an image of planet Earth as a block of ice.
So, on cue, the soon-to-be-given-the-middle-finger anchor makes a gag about how Tomasz, in his studio backdrop, has a ‘frozen ball’. For a man named Schafernaker, he really should be able to stifle his giggles.
4. The time he said the Met Office needed a supply of wine
The BBC doesn’t own its own weather stations – as with pretty much every broadcaster in the known universe, it gets its info from the local meteorological authority.
So it’s probably a given that you shouldn’t imply that the Met Office is full of alcoholics on air. Right, Tomasz? Oh.
5. The time he told people at Glastonbury to expect a ‘muddy shite’
The juvenile jokes are the best. Doing a radio piece about the fact that the Glastonbury Festival was likely to coincide with heavy rain that would turn the Worthy Farm into a muddy cesspit, Schafernaker told music lovers to expect a ‘muddy site’.
Except, he didn’t.
Mind you, we’d never expect the likes of Evelyn Cusack or Gerard Fleming (where’s he gotten to?) to appear on the cover of a gay magazine either, so maybe we in Ireland just have a rather sheltered weather forecasting heritage.
It’s also worth checking out the Mirror’s list of top ten newsroom gaffes.