ABC bosses ban Natasha Exelby from appearing on-air

Natasha Exelby, who works for ABC 24 news channel, was busy fiddling with her pen in between a report.

Morris said he has assured Exelby the network wants her to continue working various shifts she has been assigned to.

In the short clip of the incident, the former 'Wake Up!' co-host is seen looking startled as she suddenly realises the cameras have returned to her after a prerecorded package finished playing.

A Change.org petition was also set up, calling on ABC to reinstate the journalist - and it has 1,181 supporters.

However, it's not the first time the presenter has got in to trouble.

"While she is not now doing any on-air shifts, this will be subject to normal performance management".

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As her supporters point out, she showed a human side to the news we often miss. She pointed that she had also made mistakes in the past.

"Thank U all for ur generous support", tweeted the presenter. "Not my finest hour".

A few seconds later when she realised that she was back on cameras, she gave out a reaction that can only be termed priceless.

It's a slip-up nearly every newsreader in the world has committed, but rarely costs the TV presenter their on-air job.

An ABC spokesperson would not confirm whether or not Exelby has been reprimanded for her error, instead telling the paper that "Natasha Exelby is a casual contributor, not a staff member. Myself and my mesmerizing pen honorably salute you". Now her surprised reaction has gone viral.

"So if I was able to make people laugh - even if it was at my expense - then I don't think that's a bad thing". A video uploaded to Youtube in June 2013 shows her giggling flirtatiously with a studio guest as she tries to report on deadly Brazilian slum violence.

  • Michelle Webb