The BBC has landed itself in yet another scandal after a local radio DJ said live on air the Queen was dead.
Danny Kelly, 39, told listeners to his afternoon slot on his BBC WM show based in the Mailbox in Birmingham he had an important announcement to make.
"Sorry to break this news, but Queen Elizabeth II has indeed died," the Mirror quoted him as saying after he played the national anthem.
The afternoon presenter's producer Mark "Ginner" Newman could be heard telling Kelly that he was not supposed to use the line.
"You can't say that," Newman said.
Only then did Kelly clarify he had just been referring to a Facebook follower who had adopted Her Majesty's name before pulling the plug on his page.
But Newman even joked later: "Prince Charles stop calling us - get off the phone."
Broadcasting body Mediawatch has branded Liverpudlian ex-car dealer Kelly "sick" for rivalling previous BBC scandals involving Jonathan Ross, Russell Brand and Frankie Boyle.
"At the least this was incredibly ill-conceived and the national anthem was really pushing things too far," chairman Vivianne Patterson said.
Royal expert Charlie Jacoby said: "Listeners had the shock of their lives and this ludicrous stunt will surely backfire on this stupid presenter."
Although Buckingham Palace would not comment and Ofcom reported no complaints, the apologetic BBC said, "action will be taken" against Kelly whose website boasts: "You never know what will happen next."