In Depth

Alan Titchmarsh's 'bastard trenching' and 5 more BBC apologies

Prince William penis incident and cursing cox are among the many causes for regret at the Beeb

The BBC has issued an apology after gardening star Alan Titchmarsh referred to "bastard trenching" on BBC Breakfast this morning.Titchmarsh was explaining how he maintains his own garden and told presenters: "I don't double-dig every day – digging to two spades' depth. There's another name for it, and it sounds terrible, but it's called 'bastard trenching'. By the end of it you realise that's a very fitting name for it."After host Louise Minchin apologised for his language, Titchmarsh insisted it is a gardening-book term (a term even used by the BBC itself) and was "not offensive at all". Viewers quickly turned to social media to describe the apology as "ridiculous".

Apologies seem to come thick and fast from the Beeb: here are just five more...

The dead queen

Earlier this month, the broadcaster said sorry after one of its journalists mistakenly tweeted that the Queen had died. Ahmen Khawaja quickly deleted the messages but not before CNN and German daily newspaper Bild had picked up the story.

James Ballsack

BBC Sport apologised following an "error" that saw Welsh rugby union player Jake Ball named as "Jake Ballsack" on its website ahead of the Red Dragons' clash with South Africa last November. One of his teammates spotted the name-switch and tweeted it out to all his fans.

The prince and the phallus

Viewers watching BBC Breakfast in 2013 were surprised to see an image of a penis doodled onto the head of Prince William. The picture was shown in a clip of a promo video provided by comedy quartet Barbershopera. The BBC admitted it had "failed to spot the offending material" and apologised.

The cursing cox

The broadcaster apologised for turning the air blue in its coverage of the 2013 Oxford v Cambridge boat race. Millions of television viewers tuned in to hear Oskar Zorrilla, the Oxford cox, bellowing "f**k" at least five times as he steered his team of rowers to victory.

The rude weatherman

In 2010, the BBC apologised after weatherman Tomasz Schafernaker "flipped the bird" to BBC News 24 presenter Simon McCoy during a handover. Schafernaker was unaware that he was on screen and quickly tried to cover up the gesture.

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