BBC presenter apologies over name slip up

A BBC presenter has apologised after an embarrassing verbal slip over the name of Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt.

Jim Naughtie, an anchor on Radio 4's flagship Today programme, accidentally replaced the first letter of Mr Hunt's surname with a "C".

The on-air stumble sent Mr Naughtie into a coughing fit, and attracted a slew of emails from listeners who were either amused or angry.

The presenter proceeded to interview Mr Hunt without incident, but later issued several apologies for his "Spoonerism" - a reference to Dr William Spooner who was notorious for inappropriately switching letters between words.

"Sometimes things happen in live broadcasting that you deeply regret," Mr Naughtie said. "I hope that all those who were offended by what they heard realise it was completely unintentional."

Posting on social networking site Twitter, Mr Hunt also made light of the slip. He wrote: "They say prepare for anything before going on Today but that took the biscuit... I was laughing as much as u Jim or shld I say Dr Spooner."

There was another apology later when Andrew Marr inadvertently repeated Naughtie's slip-up live on Radio 4.

Presenting his cultural discussion programme Start The Week, conversation on philosophy turned to the use of Freudian slips.

The former BBC political editor told his guests he would not repeat Naughtie's earlier remarks but then did just that while trying to say "Jeremy Hunt, the Culture Secretary".

He said: "I must apologise for saying it again but it's just very hard to talk about it without saying it."

His error provoked embarrassed laughter from his guests - choreographer Matthew Bourne, dance writer Jennifer Homans, journalist David Aaronovitch and psychotherapist Jane Haynes.