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Sky News reporter broadcast saying 'f***ing hell' at Big Ben during report

Jon Craig was interrupted by the famous bell's chiming during a pre-recorded report

Four-lettered slips are not unknown in live television but imagine viewers' surprise when a Sky News reporter swore during a pre-recorded report.

A segment on the European elections broadcast shortly after midnight on Tuesday showed Jon Craig, the channel's chief political correspondent, outside the Houses of Parliament in London.

It was all going smoothly as he talked of David Cameron's engagement with European leaders in Brussels until Big Ben started to chime.

"Oh f***ing hell," he said, turning to glare at the Elizabeth Tower.

An awkward silence followed before the report quickly cut back to the studio, where anchor Lukwesa Burak hastily apologised.

"We do apologise for that," she said. "That was a much earlier recording and our apologies here from Sky News. Moving on..."

She later tweeted that she was "slightly thrown" by the f-word, which was presumably not included in the finished piece intended for broadcast.

The gaffe came days after Nick Herbert, a former policing minister, quoted a tweet calling Theresa May a “f***wit” live on the BBC's Daily Politics show.