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BBC addresses epic ‘Nigel Owens is a gay’ rugby subtitle gaffe

BBC addresses epic ‘Nigel Owens is a gay’ rugby subtitle gaffe

Nigel Owens BBC subtitle gaffe

The BBC has explained an embarrassing subtitle blunder during a rugby match between England and Scotland on Saturday (24 February).

The match, which was part of the Calcutta Cup , was televised live on BBC One.

But no one expected to see a certain subtitle appear on the screen: ‘Nigel Owens is a gay. penalty and yellow card’

The BBC rectified its mistake quite quickly (Picture: BBC iPlayer)

‘Nigel Owens is a gay [penalty and yellow card]’

The subtitling gaffe appeared 65 minutes in, when referee Nigel Owen showed Sam Underhill a yellow card.

Explaining the action on screen, a subtitle read: ‘Yellow card. Nigel Owens is a gay penalty and yellow card’.

However, the blunder was immediately rectified with the caption reading: ‘Nigel Owens is saying penalty and yellow card’.

Nigel Owens is regarded by many as the world's best rugby referee
Nigel Owens is regarded by many as the world’s best rugby referee

According to Wales Online, a BBC spokesperson said the blunder was due to voice recognition subtitling misreading what was being said.

‘Our live subtitling service produces accuracy levels in excess of 98% but, as with all broadcasters, there are instances – particularly during live broadcasts – when mistakes happen.

‘On this occasion the voice recognition subtitling software made an error which was spotted and corrected immediately.’

Rugby is ‘nothing compared to accepting the challenge of who I was’

Rugby referee Nigel Owens
Rugby referee Nigel Owens Tissot/Twitter

Owens is considered to be the world’s top-ranking rugby official.

Back in February, the World Cup ref revealed he had asked his doctor to chemically castrate him after realizing he was gay.

Owens came out publicly in 2007 and was the first openly gay man to officiate at the highest level of the game.

He told CNN he struggled with steroid abuse, bulimia and tried to take his own life.

‘Looking back at that it was a horrific thing that one would have to do but that’s what I was going through.

‘It was only when my Mum came to see me in hospital when I tried to take my own life and she told me:

‘If you try to do anything like this again then you take me and Dad with you because we don’t want to live our lives without you.’