Television bosses have launched an investigation after a newsreader was seen gossiping with colleagues off screen and fiddling with her microphone, unaware that she was live on air.
Emma Baker, 26, was preparing to read the Anglia Television regional news bulletin just before 8am yesterday when a "switching error" led to her appearing on screen three minutes earlier than scheduled.
She was seen brushing her hair and fiddling with her clothes as she prepared to read her bulletin.
She also chatted to production staff off screen and was reported to have said to one: "Have you phoned your wife yet or have you phoned Jan?"
An investigation is under way, but it is thought the mix-up happened as GMTV technicians beamed pictures from the studio before the regional bulletin was due on air.
Anglia spokesman Jim Woodrow insisted today that Miss Baker's comments were innocent and were taken out of context.
He said a viewer's claim that she called a colleague "shameless" could be explained as a reference to an editor called Seamus.
Mr Woodrow said: "A switching error led to viewers seeing some light-hearted banter involving our presenter Emma Baker and our production team. There was nothing said which we feel might have upset the viewers, but we are sorry our normal professional service was compromised.
"We are carrying out an investigation with GMTV to understand what happened and take the necessary steps to make sure it doesn't happen again."