TV presenter Victoria Derbyshire has apologised after saying she would break the rule of six if it was still in place at Christmas.
The news anchor, from Ramsbottom, said 'it was hypothetical' but said it was 'totally wrong to say it & I’m sorry.'
In an interview with Radio Times, the 52-year-old was asked what she would do if the rules had not changed by Christmas.
She replied: "If the Rule of Six is still in place at Christmas, we’re breaking it to have the rule of seven. We just are.
“Joining me, my husband and our two boys will be my mum, her partner and my husband’s dad.
“It’s fine. We’ll do it knowing what the risks are. We’re not stupid.
“We’re going to be sensible and buy a thermometer gun. But we have to be together at Christmas.
“It feels almost irresponsible saying that, but I don’t think we’re alone in feeling that way.
“We need to see my elderly mum and my husband’s elderly dad. We just do.”
The presenter apologised in a tweet on Tuesday morning.
She wrote: "Good morning. I’m starting the day by saying I’m sorry: a few weeks ago the Radio Times asked me (amongst other things) what would potentially happen at Christmas with my own family if the rule of six was still in place....
"I talked about my mum, her partner & my dad-in-law spending it with us - making seven in our home in a Tier One area (medium). It was hypothetical - however I was totally wrong to say it & I’m sorry. We’ll of course continue to follow whatever rules are in place on Dec 25th."
Derbyshire, who presents the news on the BBC, and her husband Mark have two sons, Oliver, 16, and Joe, 13.
In the Radio Times interview, she was asked whether she is missing visiting antiques fairs, one of her favourite pastimes, during lockdown.
“My mum lives in Bolton, I live in London, so I’ve not been able to see her much.
“We do Zoom calls every Saturday, but that’s it. It’s mad.”
Earlier this year, the presenter's self titled current affairs show on the BBC was axed in March amid cuts.
The show, Victoria Derbyshire, began in 2015 and was broadcast live on BBC Two and the BBC News channel every weekday from 10am.
The journalist discovered that it was being axed as part of a string of cuts when it was reported in a newspaper before the official announcement was made in January this year.
The programme won a Bafta in 2017 and has been nominated for several awards, including the RTS presenter prize.