TV space boffin Brian Cox has been given a "rocket up the arse" by BBC bosses for urging members of his audience to change channels.
Cox was presenting the second episode in BBC2's three-night astronomy spectacular Stargazing Live with Irish comic Dara O'Briain. At the start of the show he suggested that any viewers who didn't believe man had landed on the moon should "switch over to ITV now - I don't want you!"
Later, he commented that anyone who believed in UFOs should have "switched over to Big Brother by now." O'Briain quickly apologised for the latter comment, however, noting that Big Brother didn't begin until 9pm.
BBC chiefs are said to be livid.
Said a spokesman: "Bloody little upstart! He gets a couple of successful programmes under his belt and he thinks he can order our audience around!
"He's been given a right rocket up the arse. Well, I hope he has.
"Look - there might some moronic conspiracy theorists out there who don't believe we went to the moon, but they're still viewers and we need the buggers! You don't tell them to switch off."
This is not Cox's first brush with controversy. Last year, he basically told people who thought the music on his programme Wonders of the Universe was too loud to blast off."