It was late on a Saturday night – April 8, to be exact – when newsreader Natasha Exelby’s career changed forever.
One moment, she was carefully examining her pen as a pre-recorded news package went to air. The next, she had become a viral internet sensation.
That’s because, as she carefully eyed her biro, the camera turned back on without notice, and the accomplished presenter was sprung unawares mid-reverie. Her awkward work-stuff up was broadcast to the entire nation.
— Media Watch (@ABCmediawatch) April 9, 2017
One year on and Natasha is still reflecting on the viral moment that left her feeling “pretty sick”.
“I had some things going through my mind at the time and then it happened so quickly. I was next to the sports presenter, Meredith Sheehan, who I’d never met before then but strikes me as a lovely creature,” Natasha told news.com.au of the moments leading up to her ‘mistake’.
“And after it happened I felt pretty sick and Meredith just said, ‘it’s a Saturday night, don’t worry, no one will be watching.’ I thought to myself, ‘it just takes one’.”
LISTEN: In solidarity with Natasha Exelby, the Mamamia team shared their biggest work stuff-ups. Post continues after audio.
And when she awoke the next morning, Natasha realised how right she was, as she learned just how far the moment had already spread.
“I turned my phone off because it was going ballistic and as a general rule I don’t ever read stories about myself because it generally leads to chocolate binges,” she said.
“I was pretty embarrassed with what had happened and my mother said something to me that she had never said in my life. She said, ‘Tash, I think you should jump on Twitter because it’s going to make you feel better’.”
It was then she saw that other media personalities – from all over the world – had begun to share their very own bloopers in solidarity with the local star.
“I knew that quite a few journalists and people in the media had my back but I still grapple with how many people who have such busy lives were tweeting to support me,” she said.
The journalist, presenter and now media consultant realised her ‘stuff-up’ had struck a chord with viewers all over the world because, finally, the news was giving them “something to laugh about”.
“It made people smile… If I made people laugh or brought 10 seconds of relief to their day then I’m happy to help,” she said.
And we’re all still smiling about it a whole year later. Thanks, Natasha.