Good Morning Britain hosts Kate Garraway and Richard Madeley have apologised to viewers after veteran foreign correspondent John Simpson swore live on air shortly before 7am.
The 76-year-old appeared on the ITV show to discuss his recent novel Our Friends In Beijing and recalled when he had experienced a mock execution while working in Beirut, Lebanon.
Simpson said the protagonist in the book both “is me and it isn’t” and that about 80% of the events featured had either happened to him or people close to him during their careers as foreign correspondents.
After Madeley asked whether a mock execution detailed in the book was based on real life, Simpson said: “It was me in Beirut some years ago and I was made to kneel down.
“A guy stuck a gun in the back of my neck and pulled the trigger and I thought my last moment had come.
“And then everybody laughed and I got up and I brushed off my knees and I thought, ‘I’ve got to reassert myself here’.
“So I said to the guy who had fired the gun, or hadn’t fired the gun, ‘Do you know what? You’re a real wanker’.”
Simpson held his hands up then covered his mouth after realising his mistake.
Garraway joked he was “also in trouble now for saying that on breakfast television”.
She added: “We won’t give you a mock execution. You are OK John, you are OK.”
Madeley, one of the guest presenters drafted in following Piers Morgan’s departure in March, apologised to viewers but added: “You were talking about something utterly fundamental.”