Newsnight’s Emily Maitlis apologises after confusing Hull with HELL in live TV interview
- Emily Maitlis was interviewing ex-health secretary Alan Johnson on Newsnight
- But the top BBC journalist introduced him as being from ‘Hell’, rather than ‘Hull’
- She quickly corrected her mistake before making a joke and calling Hull ‘lovely’
Emily Maitlis is the award winning journalist lauded for her bombshell interview with Prince Andrew last year – but even she can make a slip-up.
The BBC Newsnight presenter was left red-faced last night after making an awkward blunder live on air last night.
The journalist, 50, was introducing former health secretary Alan Johnson when she accidentally described him as being ‘from Hell’, instead of ‘Hull’.
In the live broadcast of the popular show, which attracts around 300,000 viewers each night, she said: ‘The former health secretary Alan Johnson joins us down the line from Hell.’
But presenter quickly realised her mistake, correcting herself by saying: ‘From Hull,’
She quickly made light of the gaffe, which prompted a laugh from Mr Johnson, adding: ‘I’m never going to recover from that now.’
Award winning journalist and BBC Newsnight presenter Emily Maitlis was left red-faced last night after making an awkward blunder live on air last night
The BBC journalist was introducing former health secretary Alan Johnson when she accidentally described him as being ‘from Hell’, instead of ‘Hull’
Ms Maitlis later took to Twitter to talk about the slip-up, where she added: ‘For clarity I do know Hull is not Hell. It’s rather lovely.’
The journalist was replying to a tweet by fellow journalist Charlie Proctor, who, quoting the blunder, said: ‘Forget the Prince Andrew interview, this is what you will be remembered for!’
Others also commented on the slip-up, saying: ‘An evening chuckle does us all some good!! I assume your brain was reading ahead to ‘former health Secretary’!’
Another added: ‘Emily. Most of us would have given a defensive or apologetic response. Yours was self deprecating and numerous. Brilliant. This is why you do your job. Do not be compromised. You have so many supporters.’
The slip-up is not the first involving a BBC presenter and a politician while live on air.
In 2010, then-BBC Radio Four Today anchorman Jim Naughtie, mixed-up his words when he was introducing then Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt.
However, instead of calling him Jeremy Hunt, then ‘C’ in ‘culture’ slipped into the place of the ‘H’, creating an expletive.
Mr Naughtie instantly corrected himself, but a second or two later, what he had said hit him and he involuntarily snorted with laughter, and then tried to disguise the noise as a cough.
Mr Hunt saw the funny side, tweeting: ‘They say prepare for anything before going on Today but that took the biscuit … I was laughing as much as u Jim or shld I say Dr Spooner.’