An ABC newsreader was taken off air last night after a rambling and expletive-laden news bulletin.
Audio of the incident — which took place on ABC radio Adelaide’s 10pm bulletin yesterday — reveals veteran presenter Tim Wharton struggling to introduce a piece about Queensland’s coronavirus outbreak.
After abruptly cutting to the pre-recorded report, he can be heard yelling “F… off!”
Once the piece ended, the newsreader took a very long pause, before stumbling through his introduction to the next piece.
Listeners then heard a second emphatic “F… off!” before the voice suddenly changed to a female presenter.
Wharton has more than 35 years of experience in radio and TV.
According to his biography on ABC, he has a “strong background” in news and sport, covering events such as the Olympics in 1992, 1996 and 2000.
An ABC spokeswoman said that the company was looking into the incident.
“We’re looking into what happened and making sure that our staff member is ok,” she told Sydney’s Daily Telegraph.
Twitter users were baffled by the on-air rambling.
“What the hell is going on at ABC News? 10pm radio newsreader sounded completely out of it,” said Michael Smyth, former ABC News Adelaide journalist on Twitter.
“They loudly shouted ‘f… off’ twice and were replaced halfway through the bulletin.”