A BBC newsreader left viewers baffled when he appeared live on air holding a pack of A4 photocopying paper throughout the segment.

Simon McCoy was filmed holding the paper while he was doing a to-camera piece about the government's plans to introduce 'drunk tanks'.

It soon emerged that the broadcaster had mistakenly picked up the paper thinking it was his iPad and just carried on regardless with the paper in plain view.

A BBC News spokesperson explained: "This morning as Simon McCoy was preparing to introduce this story, instead of picking up his tablet to hold as he went to air, he mistakenly picked up a ream of paper that was sitting next to it.

"In the rush of live news, he didn't have an opportunity to swap the items, so simply went with it."

This is not the first time the 51-year-old has been left embarrassed after a camera picked up on one of his mistakes.

In 2012, McCoy could be seen resting his head on his desk live on air, only to quickly spring back to life when he realises he is being filmed.

He was also praised for his refreshing honesty during the BBC's continuous rolling coverage of the birth of Prince George, the son of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.

Standing outside of St. Mary's Hospital in London, McCoy signed off from his news report by saying "well, plenty more to come from here of course. None of it news because that will come from Buckingham Palace. But that won't stop us."

Watch the video below: