Being an on-screen journalist is a hard gig to master, and only a handful of reporters and presenters will find themselves in the top jobs. That said, such a significant on-screen presence can also be incredibly exposing, and because of the precarious nature of the job, a lot can go wrong.
Here are some of the wackiest and shocking things news anchors have ever said and done while live on-air.
1. I was going to report live on air... but then I got high
Reporting next to 8 1/2 tonnes of heroin, opiates, hash-sheesh and a plethora of other illegal narcotics is almost asking for trouble, but we think the BBC Middle East correspondent Quentin Somerville was all too aware of the consequences that would come his way, and despite countless reshoots, the reporter and his cameraman were unable to get through the segment without laughing.
That said, producers made sure the clip never made it to the news, but someone apparently came across it in the archives and decided to leak it to the press years later.
2. Dutch TV journalist Claudi Groot Koerkamp creates her very own splash
Claudi Groot Koerkamp appears to be oozing nothing but confidence as she reports on a boat, but it's when she decides to sit down and interview her subject that things take a turn for the worse.
Leaning on the side, Claudi quickly loses her balance, and despite clutching onto a flimsy rope nearby, it isn't robust enough to stop the poor reporter plunging into the water.
3. A news host gives up her job following a shocking revelation
Charlo Greene became a viral sensation the moment she quit her job on-air as a reporter for KTVA, a CBS affiliate news station based in Anchorage, Alaska. The reason stemmed from a story she was asked to report on at the time which concerned the Alaska Cannabis Club.
Explaining her knee-jerk reaction and subsequent decision, Greene exclaimed, “Now everything you’ve heard is why I, the actual owner of the Alaska Cannabis Club, will be dedicating all of my energy toward fighting for freedom and fairness, which begins with legalizing marijuana here in Alaska. And as for this job, well, not that I have a choice but, [expletive] I quit.”
It's safe to say Chloe won't be working as a journalist anytime soon.
4. Glenn Beck almost breaks the internet by creeping out his female guest
Glenn Beck is used to dividing opinion, but even by his standards, many viewers couldn't believe what they were seeing following a segment with a female guest who was asked to discuss the furore surrounding the leaked photos of an American Idol contestant.
Listening to her, an impromptu Beck interrupts her after disagreeing with her viewpoint by saying, “Deena, I’ve got some time and camera. Why don’t you stop by.” The guest's expressionless face says it all, leaving the much-maligned right-wing newscaster with little option but to make a joke of it and move on. Awkward!
5. Deborah Duncan gets slapped in the face by a monkey
It's not every day a news anchor meets a monkey, but then again, it's not every day an animal gets to meet a famous news anchor, which was probably why the pesky primate decided to make a name for himself.
Instantly going viral, this entertaining slap gave him the sought of fame that even Kim Kardashian would find hard matching.
6. Blown away by your reporting
We can't help but laugh whenever something unfortunate happens to another person. And whether they slip, trip over their laces or bump into a lamppost, it's almost innate in us to laugh.
But a Russian reporter being blown away by a fire extinguisher live on air? Now that's a first!
When local weather women Holly Ellenbogen was assigned the task of reporting on the ferocious storm sweeping across town, little did she realise what lay ahead.
Standing amidst the hurling winds, the storm seemingly had enough of her and signalled, quite literally, for her to stop.
8. On-air reporters can be appreciated as well as ridiculed- just not in the ways they'd like
When reporter Charley Belcher of FOX13 was assigned reporting duties outside the sea lion section of the Mote Marine Aquarium, little did he realise that two sea lions would take such an interest in his work.
Belcher laughed the incident off, and we're glad he did as it showed what a true professional he is! A man for any occasion, Belcher is a fearless journalist if ever there was one!
9. Reporter Brad Wills freaks out over a bug
Men are such wusses, aren't they? Reporting on what appeared to be a serene and peaceful stretch of coastline in San Diego, FOX 5 reporter Brad Wills suffered quite the shock when what seemed like a flying bug interrupted his report.
Realising how unprofessional he looked, Wills asked, "Was that live? Are we live? Oh, brother..." Speculation as to what the intruder was was rife, with one reporter suggesting that “Brad was just attacked by either a large bug or a small drone!"
10. A female anchor wittingly owns her co-worker/ex-lover live on air
Workplace romances are best-kept secret for a reason because in most cases they can alter the dynamics of a professional working relationship, as proven by this bitter, yet oh so hilarious female anchor.
Though a relationship cannot be confirmed, it appears these two journalists certainly had history, with female anchor Belinda appearing to mock the size of her co-author's private parts. Wrapping up a segment on the English team's parading of a little trophy, co-anchor Mark says “Belinda, I just don’t understand how something so small can be so impressive.” Likely sensing she's just been handed the perfect putdown opportunity, she replies, “Well, Mark you would know about that.”
11. A slippery situation
Some people can't stand fish. Most smell bad, and when a wet and gooey fish happens to be in your hand, you're not going to be best prepared for when it attempts to wriggle free.
Taken aback by its attempt for freedom, the poor reporter recoils and unknowingly falls into the arms of the boat's owner before both take a hilarious tumble.
12. A weathergirl calls a news anchor 'Daddy'
In what has to be one of the most random moments on live television, PIX11 Seatle Weather Correspondent Linda Church admitted to the male news anchor that she likes calling him daddy.
What makes this even more cringeworthy is his response. "Well thank you, I kind of like it," he says, not knowing quite whether he does. But could it simply be an in-house joke? A possible form of banter only they understand? Or is it merely Linda Church being weird? We'll go with the latter.
13. An Italian TV presenter's attempt at the splits goes horribly wrong
Italian's have a reputation for being daring and bold, but sometimes that mentality doesn't always serve them well.
In what has to be one of the funniest things we've ever seen, a failed splits attempt leaves the presenter unable to get up. But when you make a split-decision (hehe) on live TV, you can't always expect the best.
14. A female reporter's attempt at a skateboard trick backfires
News reporters are known for being many things: but being good at skating isn't usually one of them; something NewsChannell 8's Cheryl Stewart demonstrated on live TV.
Reporting on a local skating event in Portland, an ambitious Cheryl feels as though she can pull off an ollie, only to discover that she can't.
15. Pigs running wild
The role of a newscaster is a serious one, and as well as making sure you read succinctly, you have to look the part too. But no one looks good when your face is hidden underneath the headline's caption.
What made it worse was the headline itself: 'Pigs Running Wild', which inevitably had an accompanying photo of a pig. But who knows? Maybe it wasn't an accident. Maybe the guy working in graphics meant it? I guess we'll never know.
16. Jack Sparrow serenades an attractive news reporter live on air
Reporters must always feel a slight malaise whenever they are asked to report in a busy place because it provides ample opportunities for pranks and jibes from members of the public, and that was certainly the case for NBC reporter Madison Brookes.
Assigned the task of talking to Breaking Bad fans about the much-publicised season finale, Brookes got harassed by none other than everyone's favourite pirate, Jack Sparrow.
Well, kind off. As Sparrow is a fictional creation spawned from a theme park ride and subsequent movie franchise, he's obviously an imitator, and certainly not Johnny Depp, which only leaves the capricious reporter more annoyed, especially after proceeding to sniff her hair! What a creep!
17. No more Kardashians!
Anyone who works in tabloid journalism probably shares similar sentiments to the ones this news anchor displayed following a report on the media-hungry family.
Looking peeved, journalist John Brown took his feelings one step further and exclaimed live on air that “I can't take anymore Kardashian stories on this show!” He later said that he was being sarcastic despite receiving "universal support" for his 'sarcastic' stance.
18. The weather station mistakenly informs viewers that some areas of the country will cause imminent death
This is one of our favourites and goes to show that no matter how consummate a professional you are, just one mistake from a colleague can turn a routine weather report into viral embarrassment, as Fox 10 anchor Cory McCloskey discovered.
Informing the viewer's of the day's temperatures, it quickly transpires that the city of Ahwatukee has a displayed temperature of 1,270 degrees, while Wickenburg and Cave Creek are even higher at 2,385 and 2,960 degrees respectively. Managing to laugh it off. McCloskey advised, "I would get out while you still can!”
19. A local news anchor curses on his first day
It would be a day to forget for young journalist AJ Clemente who didn't even manage to get through his first day at work as a presenter for a North Dakota NBC affiliate before being fired for cursing live on air.
Unaware the camera was rolling, the very first words that come from his mouth on his first days as an anchor were, "F*ucking shit." Ironically, Clemente's gaffe handed him instant fame and was even invited onto Live with Regis & Kelley and David Letterman's late-night talk show. Explaining his monumental mistake, he said he had had difficulty pronouncing the winner's name of the London Marathon and verbally vented his frustration, unaware the cameras were rolling.
20. Weathergirl Ericka Pino morphs into a middle-aged man
Just when you thought you'd seen it all, a beautiful weathergirl suffers the indignity of transforming into a hairy man on live television.
Okay, maybe not in the literal sense, but it's still hilarious and makes us thankful for the many incompetent cameramen that continue ploughing their trades in newsrooms.
21. News host Amber Sherlock didn't exactly see the funny side to inadvertently going to work in similar attire to her two colleagues
It's every woman's nightmare. Yep, even with all the problems going on in the world, two of these female journalists, who are supposed to be clued up on the more pressing concerns in the world couldn't help but go full on Regina George on one another after they realised they were wearing similar white tops during a three-way split screen segment.
The perhaps save further embarrassment the host, Amber Sherlock, even asked reporter Julie Snook to put on a jacket. But what started out as an innocent request quickly turned sour once Snook rolled her eyes at the demand and retorted, “If it’s an issue, I’ll just jump on out, honestly." To which Sherlock replied, “Fine, just jump on out, if that’s what you’d like to do.”
The dialogue was pretty much the same, with each going back at forth at one another like high school cheerleaders until Snook took matters into her own hands and went off to collect a black jacket.
22. Reporter Katya Leisck gets attacked by a swarm of cicadas
Spare a thought for Katya Leisck of KSNT! Just like FOX5 reporter Brad Wills, her reporting prowess was tested to its limit when she encountered not just one flying bug- but a whole swarm of them!
Reporting from a United States Army base in June 2015, she was suddenly engulfed by a swarm of cicadas, with one even going in her mouth leaving a distressed Leisck to drop her microphone and seek cover. A reporter can only take so much!
23. An innocent hampster is mistaken as a culprit in a missing person's case
You know when something's so funny but inappropriate at the same time? Well, that was the situation a Channel 3 news anchor experienced when a report on the disappearance of a 16-year-old girl was cut short after an incorrect mugshot of the suspect in question was shown.
Intending to show viewers the mugshot of a HUMAN, producers instead showed a hamster holding what appeared to be a filmmaker. "Well, no this is not Rodney Stanger obviously” the anchor explains, unable to hide her child-like smile.
24. An intrepid Channel 7 reporter is given a taste of something rather unsavoury
Journalism often requires courageous and confident people who aren't put off by working in tricky and at times uncompromising situations, but even this poor male journalist probably feared the worst when he was asked to front a live report about a local bird infestation.
Asked to report under the tree where various Canadian Brown Finches were congregating, a white mess splattered on his shoulder. Laughing it off and looking up at the culprit, he was soon on the receiving end of another load, only that time, it went in his mouth. And no, he didn't finish the segment.
25. An inappropriate case of the giggles
For viewers who had tuned into Australian news anchor Natasha Exelby's segment after her co-anchor had completed a report about an attractive Irish adventurer, you'd have been forgiving for calling for her departure. Why? Because just after Exelby and her co-anchor had bantered over their beautiful Irish subject, the next segment of news stories was more serious.
However, rather than remaining composed, Exelby's giggles got the better of her, and she had no choice but to continue reading the prompter, part of which read: “One protester has been killed and at least 40 people injured.... Ten people, including five children, have been killed after a building collapsed…” Even after reading that, she couldn't keep it together and had to apologize before the commercial break.
26. Weathergirl Cristina Blackwell causes quite the storm
Though this Texan-based weathergirl hasn't embarrassed herself in the way others have on this list, her sheer beauty has certainly left much of KES5's viewers weak at the knees whenever the weather forecast is announced.
Yes, she hasn't even done anything funny, other than always looking great, but after writing about the misfortune of 25 newscasters, we thought we'd end it on a more positive and beautiful note.