A British reporter has been ridiculed on social media after appearing to touch a woman's breast during a live cross for the BBC.

Journalist Ben Brown was interviewing the British news network's assistant political editor Norman Smith when they were interrupted by an unidentified woman.

Not wanting to stop the interview, Mr Brown extended his arm in attempt to ward her away but instead, made contact with the woman's chest.

The woman then slapped Mr Brown's shoulder and stormed off as he continued the interview.

Mr Brown later apologised to the audience for the interruption but, after re-watching the segment, hastily made another apology to the woman in question.

However, Mr Brown's "unintentional" grope had quickly set fire to social media.