This is the hilarious moment a newsreader was caught off guard during a live broadcast.

Natasha Exelby was presenting an evening bulletin on ABC News 24 when she found herself completely unaware she was back live on air.

A news report had just finished when the bulletin cut back to show Exelby inside the public broadcaster's Sydney studio not looking at the camera.

She was seen with her head down and fiddling with a pen for a few seconds before realising she was back in the spotlight.

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Exelby had been seen fiddling with a pen before for a few seconds realising she was back in the spotlight. Photo / Supplied
Exelby had been seen fiddling with a pen before for a few seconds realising she was back in the spotlight. Photo / Supplied

A clearly shocked Exelby, with her eyes wide-open, threw down her pen in a flash and simultaneously let out an audible gasp.

Exelby, who was shaken by the lapse in concentration, quickly recovered to hand the next story over to the sports desk, complete a wry smile.

"Now to sport with Meredith Sheehan," she said.

It is not the first time Exelby has seen her reporting on the news become the news.

In 2013, while working at Channel 10, she was forced to apologise after laughing while presenting news reports about tragic accidents.

"I just wanted to apologise," Exelby said later in the bulletin.
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"I got a case of the giggles a little bit earlier while reading some very serious news and if I have offended anyone I am sincerely sorry."

In the same bulletin, she also said of Irish adventurer Allan Dixon, who had just been interviewed on air by her colleague Matt Doran: "Maybe he will get to be one little leprechaun, who knows?"

Doran had asked Dixon if he was "attached" before throwing to Exelby and saying "we were taking about recruitment of a different kind there but obviously you thought Allan was well qualified for the job".