It is a blunder worthy of fictional broadcasters Ron Burgundy or Alan Partridge, but BBC News presenter Simon McCoy outdid both characters on Wednesday when he presented a report while carrying a stack of photocopier paper – after mistaking it for an iPad.
The 51-year-old broadcaster was fronting a live piece to camera from the BBC newsroom when he picked up a refill pack of A4 paper instead of his more high-tech prop.
Instead of acknowledging his mistake and swapping the items, McCoy carried on with the report with the batch of paper clearly visible in his hands.
His unfortunate error was broadcast in all its glory with a full-length shot, prompting baffled viewers to take to Twitter. “Haha! was he on mornings by any chance?” said Simon Davies. “Why is @simonmccoy using a pack of printer paper as his iPad???” tweeted Steve Holden.
A BBC spokeswoman later explained: “This morning as Simon McCoy was preparing to introduce this story, instead of picking up his tablet to hold as he went to air, he mistakenly picked up a ream of paper that was sitting next to it.
“In the rush of live news, he didn’t have an opportunity to swap the items, so simply went with it.”
It is not the first time McCoy has been caught out by live television. Last year the BBC News presenter was caught resting his head on the presenting desk after what looked like a quick snooze on the early morning shift.
In March, McCoy tumbled over his words while presenting a live piece on pandas at Edinburgh zoo.
More recently the presenter was praised by some for his “refreshingly honest” live coverage from outside St Mary’s hospital as the world waited for the birth of Prince George, the son of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.
“Plenty more to come from here, of course. None of it news because that will come from Buckingham Palace. But that won’t stop us,” he told viewers.