New Delhi: A Doordarshan newsreader has been reportedly sacked after she referred to Chinese President Xi Jinping as 'Eleven' Jinping, apparently confusing Xi's name with the Roman numerals XI, a senior official at the national broadcaster said on Friday.
The blooper occurred on a show on state-run broadcaster DD news while the 'casual' anchor was reading the 6.15 am bulletin on September 16, a day before Jinping's arrival. She has since been taken off the panel of casual news readers.
Officials said the performance of those in the casual panel is constantly reviewed and it was felt that the error was embarassing for the public sector broadcaster.
"It is an unpardonable mistake," the official said on the condition of anonymity, saying the anchor was employed on a part-time basis. "We have debarred her from news reading for a few months."
The official said the anchor was part of a panel of news readers who are paid per assignment and had been hired due to a shortage of news readers. Doordarshan employs casual news readers mostly for its very early or late bulletins.
"We have a monitoring committee that continuously monitors every bulletin. The mistake was noticed the same morning by the committee, and we took action at 10 a.m. that day. Her services have been discontinued," DD News Director General Archana Datta said.
The embarrassing mistake comes at a time when the state-run broadcaster is trying to reinvent itself and prove competitive in the news market.
Twitterati reacted with humorous comments over the incident.
"DD anchor pronounces XI Jinping As Eleven Jinping...lol. Indians n math", went one post.
Another user wrote: "A Doordarshan newsreader was fired for pronouncing 'Xi Jinping' as 'Eleven Jinping'. I want her to start her own news channel 'NewsTrolls'".
"Best story ever: Classically minded newsreader thought XI Jinping was called Eleven Jinping," said another twitterati.