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The insult popped up on the news ticker at the bottom of the screen during a tennis update on the 9am to 10am news broadcast.
Later in the morning, a presenter apologised to any Manchester United fans who may have been offended.
She said the mistake had occurred as someone was learning how to operate the ticker and was “writing random things not in earnest”.
— Clive Myrie (@CliveMyrieBBC) May 24, 2022
The presenter 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.”
A BBC statement to the PA news agency 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.”
United, whose new manager Erik ten Hag held his first press conference on Monday, finished sixth in the Premier League after their weekend defeat to Crystal Palace.