In a moment that is surely every live TV host’s worst nightmare, Rebecca Maddern was caught this week branding unvaccinated tennis champion Novak Djokovic a ‘lying, sneaky a***hole’ in leaked footage that was never supposed to air.
The 7News Melbourne presenter slammed the controversial player in a foul-mouthed, hot mic rant alongside her co-host Mike Amor that was later leaked online – and soon went viral around the world.
But this isn’t the first time an Australian newsreader has been caught on camera doing or saying something viewers weren’t meant to see, and it won’t be the last.
Gaffe: In a moment that is surely every TV host’s worst nightmare, Rebecca Maddern (right, with co-anchor Mike Amor) was caught branding unvaccinated tennis star Novak Djokovic a ‘lying, sneaky a***hole’ in leaked footage that was never supposed to air on Wednesday
Rebecca Maddern and Mike Amor’s spray against Novak Djokovic
Seven News Melbourne presenters Rebecca Maddern and Mike Amor were caught criticising world No. 1 Novak Djokovic over his visa debacle in a hot mic sledge that leaked online on Wednesday.
Their expletive-laden rant, which appears to have taken place as they prepared to present the station’s 6pm news program, included Maddern saying: ‘Whatever way you look at it, Novak Djokovic is a lying, sneaky a***hole.’
Hot mic hell: Maddern and Amor were caught criticising the world No.1 amid his visa debacle in a hot mic rant that was later leaked online
‘He got a bulls**t f**king excuse and then fell over his own f**king lies. It’s just what happens, right, that’s what happened,’ Amor responded.
His co-host said there were multiple errors made in the process of cancelling and then reinstating Djokovic’s visa to play at the Australian Open.
But minutes later, the journalists put on their professional hats and donned straight-faced expressions to give an unbiased news report about the elite tennis player.
Scandal: Djokovic had landed in Australia with a medical exemption from vaccination on the basis he had tested positive to Covid-19 on December 16, but was detained for five days when border force officials denied the exemption
‘Good evening. Novak Djokovic is facing new questions and a border force investigation into whether he provided false information in his travel declarations to get into Australia,’ Amor read smoothly.
An expressionless Maddern added: ‘The tennis star is out of detention and ramping up his preparation for the Australian Open as the federal government decides whether it will cancel his visa, again.’
Djokovic had landed in Australia with a medical exemption from vaccination on the basis he had tested positive to Covid-19 on December 16, but was detained for five days when border force officials denied the exemption.
He’s since been released from detention but it is still unclear if he will be able to play in the Australian Open beginning on January 17.
‘It is unfortunate that everyone stuffed up around him,’ Maddern said during the leaked off-air conversation.
‘I don’t think anything was gained by putting him in (an) immigration hotel.’
Both presenters then agreed that Djokovic was ‘going to get away with it’.
Remorse: Seven Melbourne chief Lewis Martin told 3AW the probe into the leaker was well under way. Mr Martin said he had spoken with Maddern (right) and she had apologised to him
Meanwhile, furious Channel Seven bosses are racing to track down the person responsible for leaking the ‘illegal’ footage of two the two journalists.
In a statement on Wednesday morning, Craig McPherson, Seven’s Director of News and Public Affairs, said the person responsible for leaking the ‘private conversation’ would be dealt with.
‘The illegal recording was of a private conversation between two colleagues,’ he said.
‘It was an underhanded, cowardly act in breach of the Victorian Listening Devices legislation the perpetrator of which will be accordingly dealt with when found.’
Another executive, Melbourne chief Lewis Martin, told 3AW the probe into the leaker was well under way.
Mr Martin also said he had spoken with Maddern and she had apologised to him.
Natasha Exelby’s daydreaming moment
Daydreaming: ABC News 24 anchor Natasha Exelby made global headlines in 2017 after she was caught daydreaming during a live broadcast
ABC News 24 anchor Natasha Exelby made global headlines in 2017 after she was caught daydreaming during a live broadcast.
The journalist was in the middle of presenting an evening bulletin when she was filmed staring mindlessly at her pen, unaware she was live on air.
A news report had just finished when the livestream cut back to Exelby in the public broadcaster’s Sydney studio not looking at the camera.
She was seen with her head down and fiddling with a pen for a few seconds before realising she was back on air.
A clearly shocked Exelby, with her eyes wide open, threw down her pen in a flash and simultaneously let out an audible gasp.
Shaken by the lapse in concentration, she quickly recovered to handball the next story over to the sports desk, complete with a wry smile.
Whoops: The journalist was in the middle of presenting an evening bulletin when she was filmed staring mindlessly at her pen, unaware she was live on air
‘Now to sport with Meredith Sheehan,’ she said.
Exelby was told later she had lost her newsreading position and had been ‘banned’ from any more on-air work, The Daily Telegraph reported.
A spokesperson for the ABC also told Daily Mail Australia: ‘Natasha Exelby is a casual contributor, not a staff member.
‘She has been booked for occasional on-air shifts when needed, and also does other occasional shifts for the ABC News channel.’
She later spoke about the on-air gaffe to news.com.au, saying: ‘I can understand why people found it funny, and it was certainly me at my most raw.
‘But I also have to take some responsibility here. I’m a professional and what happened was far from professional.’
Amber Sherlock and Julie Snook’s ‘Jacketgate’ scandal
Scandalous: In January 2017, footage of Channel Nine newsreader Amber Sherlock (centre) berating Julie Snook (left) for wearing a white jacket was leaked online
In January 2017, footage of Channel Nine newsreader Amber Sherlock berating Julie Snook for wearing a white jacket was leaked online.
The clip showed Sherlock demanding Snook put on a jacket so the two could avoid both wearing white on TV at the same time.
Speaking to her producer, Sherlock said: ‘I need Julie to put a jacket on because we’re all in white. I asked her before we came on… Julie, you need to put a jacket on.’
Snook fought back, saying she hadn’t had time to change, but Sherlock refused to back down, snapping: ‘Come on, I told you two hours ago.’
The sports presenter later appeared on air wearing a black jacket, and was the object of much public sympathy when the footage went viral.
Sherlock blamed the meltdown on the pressures of live TV, telling 9Honey in May 2017 the experience had been a ‘learning curve’.
Change: The sports presenter later appeared on air wearing a black jacket, and was the object of much public sympathy when the footage went viral
‘I was absolutely mortified, and, of course, hurt. I think I’m a kind, generous person,’ she also told The Daily Telegraph.
‘I am a mum, I have a family. And I was devastated. I am only human at the end of the day, and I think people forget that.’
Speaking to Popsugar 12 months after the incident, Snook said she was grateful the scandal had finally died down.
Describing the furore over the leaked footage as ‘completely unexpected and unnecessary’, she said the fact that incident went viral ‘caught everyone off guard’.
‘I can look back on it now and be grateful that it’s over,’ Snook said.
Snook insisted she and Sherlock never had bad blood, explaining the ‘Jacketgate’ moment was just a ‘very unfortunate incident’.
‘It was just a tough day at the office for two busy people, and it unfolded the way it did,’ she said.
Seven News anchor Peter Mitchell caught on camera ‘having a drink’
‘Just having a drink’: Seven News Melbourne anchor Peter Mitchell suffered a live TV gaffe in June last year. While presenting the 6pm news bulletin, the 61-year-old journalist took a sip of water but didn’t realise the cameras were still rolling
Seven News Melbourne anchor Peter Mitchell suffered another awkward live TV gaffe in June last year.
While presenting the 6pm news bulletin, the 61-year-old journalist took a sip of water but didn’t realise the cameras were still rolling.
Footage obtained by TV Tonight showed the parched newsman grabbing a bottle and drinking from it during the live broadcast.
He was unaware he was on air and thought it was a commercial break.
A producer could be heard saying something off camera and Mitchell looked visibly shocked as he quickly set the bottle aside and read the next segment.
Despite the awkward gaffe, he maintained his composure as he focused on the teleprompter.
At the end of the package, Mitchell told viewers: ‘Just having a drink of water.’
Hydrated: At the end of the package, Mitchell told viewers, ‘Just having a drink of water’
Nine News Melbourne reporter drops F-Bomb live on air
In 2020, Nine News Melbourne journalist Lana Murphy accidentally dropped the F-bomb on air after her pre-recorded blooper was played instead of the approved take.
Murphy was reporting on the state’s coronavirus crisis when she stumbled over her words and sheepishly told someone off camera: ‘F**k my life.’
Thinking the camera had stopped rolling, Lana began fussing with her locks before the segment cut back to Alicia Loxley in the studio.
Whoops! In 2020, Nine News Melbourne journalist Lana Murphy accidentally dropped the F-bomb on air after her pre-recorded blooper was played instead of the approved take
Some ‘live cross’ segments are pre-recorded before they are broadcast during the live news program.
It’s evident that Murphy’s package was filmed beforehand; however, the wrong footage was accidentally handed over for the final show.
Amused viewers saw the fun in the blooper and likened Lana’s accidental slip-up to how they were feeling about Melbourne’s new lockdown rules.
One joked: ‘The whole of Melbourne feels the same as @LanaMurphy right now.’
Another added: ‘Channel Nine reporter Lana Murphy sums up how we’re all feeling right now: “F**k my life.”‘
‘Somehow I think @Lana Murphy is speaking for all of us in Vic at the moment…’ a third tweeted.
Shane Warne and Andrew Symonds blast one of Australia’s best cricketers
Caught on camera: In January 2021, cricket legends Shane Warne (pictured) and Andrew Symonds were busted blasting a current Australian player in a foul mouthed rant
In January 2021, cricket legends Shane Warne and Andrew Symonds were busted blasting a current Australian player in a foul-mouthed rant.
Twitter user Lenny Phillips posted the clip of retired greats Warne and Symonds tearing into star batsman Marnus Labuschagne during an off-air chat.
The pair were in the Fox Cricket commentary box as they worked the Adelaide Strikers versus Melbourne Renegades Big Bash game before the chat became nasty.
‘Do something now to his ADD [attention deficit disorder] f**king pills,’ Symonds appeared to say, referring to the eccentric Labuschagne.
‘Yeah, f**k,’ Warne responded.
Not meant for TV: A Twitter user posted the clip of retired greats Warne and Symonds (middle and right) tearing into star batsman Marnus Labuschagne during an off-air chat
‘Jeez it’s annoying. No! Just f**king bat properly,’ he continued, referring to Labuschagne’s quirky approach to batting.
‘We’ll have to give him the hog pile,’ Symonds said, as the pair laughed.
‘Mate if you keep that s**t up we’re going to have to squash your guts out your a**e.’
Fellow commentator Mark Howard sat next to the pair during their vicious rant, but didn’t weigh in.
The Foxtel-owned streaming service apologised for airing the exchange.
‘Our stream started early and caught some unacceptable comments. On behalf of Kayo Sports and the commentary team, we unreservedly apologise,’ it said.
‘Can’t bowl, can’t throw’ scandal
In 1999, Channel Nine sports cameraman Joe Previtera admitted to being responsible for an infamous on-air sledge of cricketer Scott Muller.
The incident occurred during a Test match between Australia and Pakistan at Bellerive Oval in Hobart, Tasmania.
Coming clean: In 1999, Nine cameraman Joe Previtera (right) admitted to being responsible for an infamous on-air sledge of cricketer Scott Muller. Initially Shane Warne (far left) was blamed, but has always maintained his innocence. Pictured with Kerry O’Keefe in 2019
After Muller made an inaccurate throw from the outfield, the words ‘he can’t bowl, he can’t throw’ aired – and mystery shrouded who said the insult for weeks.
TV show The Panel put the blame on Muller’s teammate Shane Warne, who was fielding close by to the microphone; however, he swiftly denied the claims.
‘I didn’t do it, I promise you, I didn’t do it,’ Warne said on Fox Sports in 2019.
‘I don’t know what more I can say. And the vision that shows me half-way down the pitch with my hands on my hips.’
He also said he told Muller at the time that if he wanted to make the comment, he would have said it directly to his face.
Nine camera operator Previtera eventually claimed responsibility for the sledge, though debate has raged ever since.
‘I was definitely me, unfortunately,’ he said. ‘I was talking to couple of camera guys and it was picked up on an effects mic.’
Channel 10 newsreader rants about her husband
In June 2000, newsreader Marie-Louise Theile was recorded calling her husband an ‘a**ehole’ during what she believed was a commercial break on Ten News Brisbane.
Viewers heard Marie say: ‘…but this a**ehole I’m married to, he goes, “Oh I want to go skiing, oh okay, I wanna go to Europe, oh okay… the minute he’s slightly…”‘ before the duo became aware of the mistake and stopped talking.
In 2007, Theile described the on-air blooper as a ‘blip in the radar’.
‘The thing about it was, it was one of those situations where anyone who saw it could see it was a joke,’ she told the Brisbane Times.
‘When it appears in print it looks a lot worse than it was. In the big scheme of life everybody has moved on.’
Accident: In June 2000, newsreader Marie-Louise Theile (right) was recorded calling her husband an ‘a**ehole’ during what she believed was a commercial break on Ten News Brisbane