You said that? 6 famous microphone gaffes

The Queen can "purr" according to British Prime Minister David Cameron. Photo / AP
The Queen can "purr" according to British Prime Minister David Cameron. Photo / AP

British Prime Mister David Cameron is no stranger to the danger of unguarded comments in the presence of TV microphones.

He has caused a row by saying that leaders of "fantastically corrupt" countries including Nigeria and Afghanistan will attend an anti-corruption summit in London this week.

Did he intend the comments to be made public? Cameron's 10 Downing St office said the Prime Minister knew there were "multiple cameras in the room" when he spoke.

If it was a careless comment, he is also by no means the only politician to fall into that particular trap.

1 Queen 'purred'

Last year Cameron was recorded talking about Yorkshire people "hating each other". He was previously caught revealing how the Queen "purred" with pleasure when he told her Scots had rejected independence. That controversial remark was picked up by broadcast microphones on a trip to New York soon after the 2014 referendum.

2 The 'bigoted woman'

Former British Prime Minister Gordon Brown famously described a potential Labour voter as "a bigoted woman" in a spectacular gaffe. His comments were unwittingly broadcast to the world during a campaign visit to Rochdale during the 2010 general election campaign.

3 Cabinet 'b*******'

Former British Prime Minister John Major excelled himself in Tokyo once by announcing to what he wrongly assumed was a dead microphone that he regarded some of the Eurosceptic members of his Cabinet as "b*******" whom he would like to "crucify". He added: "Even as an ex-whip I cannot stop people sleeping with other people that they ought not ..."

4 Outlawing Russia

Perhaps the most celebrated of all such gaffes was US President Ronald Reagan's in 1984, when he said: "My fellow Americans. I am pleased to tell you I just signed legislation which outlaws Russia forever. The bombing begins in five minutes."

5 'I can't bear that man'

The Prince of Wales has also fallen for "live microphone syndrome" with his remarks about Nicholas Witchell, the BBC's royal correspondent. He said: "Bloody people. I can't bear that man. I mean, he is so awful, he really is."

6 'He thinks she's a b****'

Kathleen Gingrich, mother of Newt Gingrich, a prominent US Republican politician, inadvertently let slip her son's views about Hillary Clinton, who was then first lady of the United States. "He thinks she's a b****," she said.

- Daily Telegraph, AP

- Daily Telegraph UK

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