Image: Wikimedia Commons

Sophie Laughton explores some of the funniest news caption mistakes of the year.

Captions; lower-thirds; banners; whatever you want to call them, news captions can be as vital to broadcast journalism as an actual interview.

But what about when things go wrong or, rather, hilariously right?

We’ve hunted down some of the best jokes, blunders, and cheeky digs that caption writers have managed to sneak onto our screens in the last 12 months. 


Max, BBC Breakfast, February 2021

Max the dog earned his BBC Breakfast title when he was awarded an Order of Merit, the animal equivalent of an OBE, for his incredible work as a therapy dog. A very good boy indeed.

Sky News Twitter, Sky News, February 2021

Not quite a news caption, but this Twitter gaffe was too good to leave out. Utterly nonsensical, yet entirely succinct. 

Joanna Lumley, ITV News, February 2021

What started off as an impassioned plea from the actress to stop the detonation of wartime bombs found at sea (which can harm whales and dolphins) turned into a pitch for a very watchable show.


Jackie Weaver, BBC Breakfast, February 2021

BBC Breakfast put all our minds at rest by confirming what certain members of Handforth Parish Council just couldn’t accept – Jackie Weaver has the authority. She may or may not be Britney Spears though.


Ember, BBC World News, December 2020

Another day, another dog being interviewed on television. But this one sings! So Ember’s occupation is… yeah, you guessed it. 

Boris Johnson, Channel 4 News, September 2020

Screw the COVID-19 briefing, Channel 4 knows what is truly important to the nation: What time we get to see cream buns being made in a tent.


Donald Trump, BBC News, November 2020

Is there any way to call something “so-called” without sounding like you’re throwing “so-called” shade? 

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