News BBC apologises for ‘Manchester United are rubbish’ gaffe
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BBC apologises for ‘Manchester United are rubbish’ gaffe

The BBC has apologised after a message appeared on the news channel reading "Manchester United are rubbish". Photo: Twitter
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A red-faced BBC has been forced to apologise after a message appeared on-screen reading “Manchester United are rubbish”.

The text ran on the BBC News channel’s breaking news ticker at the bottom of the screen during a French Open update on Tuesday morning.

The insult was addressed by presenter Annita McVeigh later in the morning, apologising to any Manchester United fans who may have been offended.

She blamed the bungle on a rogue trainee, who she said was “writing random things” while learning to use the ticker.

“A little earlier, some of you may have noticed something pretty unusual on the ticker that runs along the bottom of the screen with news making a comment about Manchester United,” McVeigh said.

“Let me just explain what was happening — behind the scenes someone was training to learn how to use the ticker and to put text on the ticker, so they were just writing random things, not in earnest and that comment appeared.

“Apologies if you saw that and you were offended and you’re a fan of Manchester United, but certainly that was a mistake. It wasn’t meant to appear on the screen so that was what happened. We just thought we’d better explain that to you.”

BBC said another message also appeared on the ticker, simply reading: “Weather rain everywhere”.

In a statement, BBC said there was a “technical glitch” during the training, which rolled over to live programming “for a few seconds”.

“We apologised for any offence caused on air,” it read.

The gaffe circulated for more than two hours before the network acknowledged the mistake.

Manchester United this week ended its worst campaign yet in the Premier League era – finishing sixth. Its final match was a 1-0 loss to Crystal Palace.