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Video: Rude gesture that landed BBC weatherman in centre of storm

It was Oscar Wilde who described conversation about the weather as the last refuge of the unimaginative. But then he had never met Tomasz "Shufflepants" Schafernaker.

Since joining the BBC a decade ago the Polish-born meteorologist has outraged the Scots by describing the Outer Hebrides as "nowheresville", collapsed into fits of giggles after predicting "muddy shite" for a rain-lashed Glastonbury and turned on a whole new audience to the delights of his occluded front by revealing his bulging pecs and rippling abs while posing in a pair of skimpy shorts for a magazine.

Schafernaker's latest exploit on the rolling news channel was yesterday earning him thousands of hits on the internet after he was caught delivering a one-fingered salute to the BBC news anchor Simon McCoy after McCoy's bantering ironic suggestion that his forecast would be "100 per cent accurate and provide you with all the details you could possibly want".

Squeals

Schafernaker (31) is seen giving the presenter the finger and then appears to hide his hand in his mouth, as if trying to destroy the evidence, as McCoy's co-presenter Fiona Armstrong squeals in dismay.

McCoy, a former BBC royal correspondent, tries to gloss over the incident remarking: "Every now and again there's always a mistake and that was it."

A BBC spokesman said the corporation was sorry if anyone had been upset by the brief incident yesterday morning: "Tomasz was not aware that he was on air, and whilst the gesture was only shown for a second, it was not acceptable. We apologise for any offence caused."

The dozens of Schafernaker video clips running on YouTube bear testament to the forecaster's growing celebrity, though the BBC insists he remains a serious scientist having joined the Weather Centre as a broadcast assistant in 2000 with a degree in meteorology and, at 22, becoming the youngest man to present the regional forecast.

As well as being a civil forecaster he has also undertaken training at RAF Lyneham in aviation forecasting and this year was named best TV weather presenter at the Television and Radio Industries Club Awards.

hnews@herald.ie