Breakfast hosts Charlie Stayt and Susanna Reid apologise
The BBC has apologised after an unedited clip of the leaked tape thought to be Christian Bale swearing was played on BBC One's Breakfast.
"A technical error led to us broadcasting an unacceptable swear word," said a spokeswoman.
Presenters Charlie Stayt and Susanna Reid gasped as the unbleeped clip of the Batman star's tirade went out.
A clearly stunned Reid said: "An enormous apology, that was definitely supposed to be edited."
Seconds earlier, Stayt had introduced the clip, saying "people may want to block their ears" because he expected it to be heavily bleeped.
The tape, of star Bale berating a colleague for ruining a shot on the set of Terminator Salvation, was leaked earlier this week.
The actor's outburst includes the use of the F-word 35 times in just over four minutes.
The tape was leaked to gossip website TMZ. Sony Pictures has refused to comment and Bale's agent has not returned calls.
Film director Darren Aronofsky, whose film The Wrestler is in the running at the Oscars, defended Bale's actions.
He called the star's tirade "reasonable" and said: "I don't think he was out of line."
"Sets are very, very high-powered places where things go awry all the time and emotions are high.
"He could have been doing a deeply, deeply intense emotional scene," added the film-maker.