Apology over MIA Super Bowl gesture

American TV bosses have apologised after London-born singer MIA swore and flashed her middle finger at the camera during the half-time performance at the Super Bowl.

The rapper and singer, real name Maya Arulpragasam, was performing with Madonna on her new single, Give Me All Your Luvin', at the game in Indianapolis when she made the gesture and sang "I don't give a s**t".

Viewers saw the screen briefly blur as technicians attempted to cover it up.

The Super Bowl is America's biggest TV event of the year, pulling in an audience of more than 100 million people.

A spokesman for NBC, which showed the game, said: "We apologise for the inappropriate gesture that aired during half-time. It was a spontaneous gesture that our delay system caught late."

It was not the first time MIA - or the Super Bowl - have courted controversy.

The Paper Planes star ran foul of YouTube chiefs in 2010 when the video for her single Born Free was given an adults-only rating.

Sunday night's incident was reminiscent of Janet Jackson's "wardrobe malfunction" at the Super Bowl eight years ago - a surprise risque moment in front of tens of millions of unsuspecting viewers. The brief exposure of Jackson's nipple during the 2004 half-time show raised a storm of controversy.

The NFL, which produces the show, blamed a failure in NBC's delay system for allowing Sunday's gesture to be seen. An NFL spokesman said MIA did not do anything similar during rehearsals and the league had no reason to believe she would do something like that during the actual show.

MIA was born to Sri Lankan parents in Hounslow, west London, where her father Arul was working as an engineer but moved back to Sri Lanka when she was six months old.