BBC pundit Danny Murphy has shed light on what it was like to be in the studio when a sex noise prank impacted the broadcaster's FA Cup coverage.
Loud sex noises could be heard during the pre-match build-up ahead of the third round replay between Wolves and Liverpool, with presenter Gary Lineker and the punditry team initially at a loss. Eventually, the host shared a photo of a phone hidden at the back of the set at Molineux, with a YouTuber claiming credit for the prank.
The BBC have issued a statement in which they revealed they were looking into the causes of the incident. Lineker has already spoken about what happened, and now Murphy has followed suit.
“It was quite funny at first,” former Liverpool midfielder Murphy told talkSPORT. “Initially, because it was so loud in the studio and it was, obviously, very off-putting. We thought maybe it was coming out the tannoy and that the whole stadium was getting it.
“Then we realised that it was just us, so we were thinking ‘someone has got us here’. And then, of course as you know be seeing it, every time we came back to the studio to speak... it would start again.
“The problem was, I couldn’t really hear what Gary was saying, Gary couldn’t hear what I was saying, Incey [Paul Ince] couldn’t hear [either]. It became tedious after about five minutes."
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"At that point I wasn't actually sure it wasn't me," Murphy joked when asked by presenter Jim White about Alan Shearer suggesting the ex-midfielder's own phone was responsible. "The thing was, I got paranoid because Gary said it as well, so I thought 'better check my phone'. Luckily it was already turned off so I thought 'it can't be me'."
After the excitement over the unexpected noises, Liverpool proceeded to book their place in the fourth round of the cup with a 1-0 victory in a game with far less goalmouth action than the original 2-2 draw. Harvey Elliott was the Reds' match-winner, beating Jose Sa from distance in the 13th minute to set up a fourth round trip to Brighton.
"We apologise to any viewers offended during the live coverage of the football this evening," a statement from a BBC spokesperson read. "We are investigating how this happened."
Lineker later went on Newsnight to speak about the incident. "If you told me this morning that tonight I’d be on Newsnight talking about a porn scandal I would have been terrified," the former England striker said.
"When it started, I did recognise that sound. I think we’ve all been done with that when you open up a WhatsApp or something," he added. "The BBC have issued some sort of apology, I know not why. It's certainly got nothing to apologise for."