An experienced BBC journalist had an awkward slip-up last night when she referred to disgraced comedian Bill Cosby as… Bill Clinton.

Michelle Fleury was reporting live from outside the Philadelphia prison where the ‘Cosby Show’ star had been held since 2018, when the accidental name swap occurred.

The BBC World correspondent was streaming live to the broadcaster’s ‘News at 10’ programme, when she said: “For the last two years this has been where Bill Clinton has called home…”

Of course, the former US president has never done jail time and none of his plush homes are in Philadelphia.

Immediately, after Fleury wrapped up her special report, newsreader Huw Edwards dished up some damage control.

He told viewers: “Just to clarify, what was said there in Michelle’s introduction to the story when she mistakenly said Bill Clinton instead of Bill Cosby.

“We apologise for the mistake. The story is of course about Bill Cosby the entertainer.”

Viewers found the slip-up both hilarious and awkward...

All we can say is, when it comes to mixing up names we’ve all been there, and we feel Fleury’s pain. Though, luckily for most of us, maybe not on live TV...

Cosby, 83, was freed from the jail on Wednesday after his sexual assault conviction was overturned.

The entertainer once known as “America’s Dad,” arrived home having served three years of a three to 10-year sentence after the Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruled he had been denied a fair trial in 2018.

Following his release, the 83-year-old appeared in a press conference outside his suburban Philadelphia home covered live by the major US TV networks.

He did not address journalists directly, however, instead relying on spokesman Andrew Wyatt.

A message has since been posted on Cosby’s official Twitter account, thanking fans who stood by him “through this ordeal”:

The release of Cosby, once one of the US’s most beloved figures but who faced dozens of assault accusations, provoked a strong reaction.

Three years ago he was convicted of drugging and assaulting Temple University sports administrator Andrea Constand in 2004.

But on Wednesday the Pennsylvania court ruled the prosecutor who brought the case was bound by his predecessor’s agreement not to charge the TV star.

In a statement, Constand called the ruling “not only disappointing but of concern in that it may discourage those who seek justice for sexual assault in the criminal justice system from reporting or participating in the prosecution of the assailant”.

Gloria Allred, the high-powered lawyer who represented many of Cosby’s accusers, warned the comedian is “not home free” despite being released from prison.

The women’s rights activist said the conviction being overturned on technical grounds “did not vindicate (his) conduct and should not be interpreted as a statement or a finding that he did not engage in the acts of which he has been accused”.

Speaking during a press conference held over Zoom from Los Angeles, Allred said now Cosby’s criminal case was over, she could pursue a civil complaint against the star.

She represents Judy Huth, who alleges when she was 15 Cosby attacked her at the Playboy Mansion in 1974.

The case, being heard at Los Angeles Superior Court, has been paused while awaiting a conclusion in Pennsylvania.

Allred said she intends to have Cosby give evidence in the case and expects a trial date to be set “very soon”.

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