Charlie Pickering has apologised for the “slip of the tongue”. New Year's fireworks in Sydney
Charlie Pickering has apologised for the “slip of the tongue”. New Year's fireworks in Sydney

Charlie Pickering’s awkward NYE stuff-up

CHARLIE Pickering almost made it through the New Year's Eve coverage on ABC without a gaffe until the final seconds.

As Pickering counted down to 2018 he said: "Are you ready to count down to the magical moment, the only time it's OK to kill a police officer... ah, kiss a police officer without asking?"

Pickering was quick to say sorry for the "slip of the tongue" after what had been an otherwise seamless broadcast by the ABC.

The ABC coverage was a change from recent years, with a focus on live music rather than the "pub quiz" or comedy sketch.

Jimmy Barnes performed classics Khe Sanh and Working Class Man as part of the Countdown tribute, along with performances from John Paul Young doing a Love Is In The Air sing-a-long.

It was former Australian Idol winner Casey Donovan that stole the show with a cover of Nutbush City Limits.

And after previous New Year's Eve coverage from the ABC has copped plenty of criticism, it was mainly positive this year.

"The secret was clearing the decks of anyone inclined to talk too much and handing the night over to people who could sing," Fairfax reported.

So rather than let the hosts dominate and leave the ABC open to stuff ups, the focus was on live music.

But some viewers were not happy with the host of The Weekly after his "kill" police gaffe at the end.

Pickering's "slip of the tongue" continues a poor run for the ABC since taking over the fireworks coverage from Nine.

Last year hosts Ella Hooper and Jeremy Fernandez were so distracted chatting to Hoodoo Gurus front man Dave Faulkner that the band's drummer had to remind them to start the countdown when he startled frantically pointing at the clock behind him.

In 2014, the fireworks display was obstructed by comedian HG Nelson's head, and host Julia Zemiro was heard saying "Oh thank God" at the end of the broadcast when she thought her mic was off.