The ABC has denied that it sidelined freelance journalist Natasha Exelby after footage of her live TV blooper went viral.

Yesterday, News Corp reported that Exelby had been axed from her newsreading duties after being caught off-guard during a live news shift.

Unsurprisingly, this didn’t go down too well with quite literally anyone whose name doesn’t rhyme with ‘fark natham‘, with journos sharing their own bloopers with the hashtag #PutYourBloopersOut, and hundreds of people signing a petition to have her reinstated.

ABC’s News Director Gaven Morris has now denied these reports, saying in a statement that any reports claiming Natasha has been banned, barred or fired “untrue”.

“Live television is a demanding art and slip-ups will happen — our presenters are humans, not robots. We take on-air standards extremely seriously, but we don’t expect perfection. No one would ever be punished for a blooper and, while it isn’t appropriate to publicly discuss confidential details of people’s personal work arrangements, this has not happened to Natasha.

“Media reports that Natasha has been “banned”, “barred” or “fired” are untrue. Natasha is a freelance journalist who works as a contributor. She has been rostered for various shifts and has been assured since yesterday that we want that to continue. While she is not currently doing any on-air shifts, this will be subject to normal performance management. I have spoken to Natasha and conveyed our regret that this has attracted such attention.”

Exelby hasn’t made a public statement since news emerged that she’d been fired, but thanked everyone for their support over her on-air gaff yesterday.

Photo: ABC.