Television presenter Robert Peston told viewers he felt destined for the sack after veteran actress Miriam Margolyes used an expletive during a live Sunday morning interview.
The journalist, host of ITV’s Peston On Sunday, was left aghast as the 76-year-old said the F-word while regaling an anecdote involving American film star Warren Beatty.
The actress, adored by children through her roles in the likes of family-friendly films Babe, Mulan and Harry Potter, had initially prefaced the story by asking if she could use a “bad word”, something acceded to by the presenter.
But the sex-based outburst left studio guests – Tory MP Sarah Wollaston and Lord Adonis – with the giggles, while Mr Peston was forced to apologise.
“Striking,” he said, “and you’ve just got me sacked, which was a public service.
“I’ve got to apologise, it’s my fault that that word was said.”
Margolyes appeared to put her hand over her mouth in surprise following the apology.
The exchange – edited out of the subsequent re-run of the show on the ITV+1 channel – amused many on social media.
Earlier, the celebrated actress described how she agreed with the principles of the #MeToo movement – which aims to shine a spotlight on sexual abuse of women – but said it had the potential to lose sight of its aims.
She said: “It can overbalance and become a witch-hunt.
“I think people talking about hand-on-the-knee 15 years ago is not serious enough.
“Rape and pushing into a woman – it’s obvious what’s assault and what isn’t.”