A man from Leicester has been charged after a reporter was subjected to racist abuse moments before she was going on air for a live broadcast.

Sima Kotecha, said she and her team faced “racist and abusive behaviour” on the street while preparing for coronavirus interviews in Leicester city centre on Sunday 10th May.

Police have now said that the man – Russell Rawlingson, 50, of Glenfield Road in Leicester, has been charged with public order offences. Rawlingson will appear via video-link at Leicester Magistrates’ Court later.

Ms Kotecha was due to interview people on Sunday evening for BBC following the prime minister’s statement on the coronavirus lockdown.

The segment was cancelled and the incident reported to police.

Ms Kotecha took to Twitter, to tell her 17,800 followers the racist abuse meant that their filming wasn’t able to go ahead.

She tweeted: “Apologies – but man shouting terrible things at me has ruined it for everyone. I’m afraid not going to make it on the special programme.

“Apologies to our guests who we had to send home without putting on air after myself and team were subjected to racist and abusive behaviour.

“Snapshot of what journalists sometimes encounter during live broadcasting.

“Not always easy. Wishing you well.”

Meanwhile, a BBC spokesman said: “While preparing to broadcast, our reporter, her production team and guests were subjected to racist and abusive behaviour.

“We will not tolerate racism or abuse of our staff.”