Indian news anchor fired over Chinese President blooper

The news reader referred to visiting Chinese President Xi Jinping as 'Eleven' Jinping, apparently confusing the name with Roman numerals XI

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The Independent Online

A news anchor for India’s state TV was fired after referring to the Chinese President Xi Jinping as ‘Eleven’ Jinping, apparently confusing Xi’s name with the Roman numerals XI, a senior official at the television station said.

The news anchor for the Doordarshan news channel made the gaffe while reading the late night bulletin on Wednesday evening, during the Chinese President’s three-day visit to India to boost trade and investment between the two Asian powerhouses.

“It was an unpardonable mistake,” the official told the Reuters news agency on the condition of anonymity.

“We have debarred her from news reading for a few months.”

The official added that the news reader was a casual employee who had been drafted in to run news bulletins because of a shortage of news readers at the channel.

The blooper led to a flurry of comments on social media, with user @kanikagahlaut tweeting: “The silver lining: At least the anchor knows about Roman numerals”.

@Psilosophy tweeted: “What amazes me is that enough people still watch Doordarshan for them to have to sack an employee over a mistake.”

The incident comes at a time when the channel is trying to reinvent itself to compete with private broadcasters. Meanwhile, the dna news site commented that its programmes are "often a matter of public ridicule for their poor production quality."

Additional reporting by Reuters and Associated Press