BBC apologises after ‘Manchester United are rubbish’ appears on ticker

The BBC has apologised after a message appeared on screen reading “Manchester United are rubbish”.

The line popped up on the BBC News ticker at the bottom of the screen during a tennis update on the 9am to 10am broadcast. Later in the morning, the presenter Annita McVeigh apologised to any Manchester United fans who may have been offended, saying the mistake had occurred as someone was learning how to operate the ticker and was “writing random things not in earnest”. Another message reading “Weather rain everywhere” also appeared on the ticker.

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McVeigh said: “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, and I hope that Manchester United fans weren’t offended by it.

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

The BBC presenter and Manchester City fan Clive Myrie tweeted “I had nothing to do with this!!” with the hashtag mcfc, after City won the Premier League title on Sunday.

A BBC statement added: “There was a technical glitch during training with our test ticker, which rolled over to live programming for a few seconds. We apologised for any offence caused on air.”

New manager Erik ten Hag has begun his first official week in charge of United. Despite Sunday’s 1-0 loss at Crystal Palace consigning them to a new Premier League low of 58 points and sixth place, the Dutchman is confident he can revive the club’s fortunes. “The season before, this squad finished second, so it has the potential,” he said. “I think if we improve, if we can work with them, we can get more out of them than this season.”