Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson has been caught on camera in Myanmar reciting a colonial poem before being stopped by an ambassador.
Mr Johnson began quoting the opening lines of Mandalay during a visit to the Shwedagon Pagoda in Yangon, the capital of Myanmar.
The poem by Rudyard Kipling is written through the eyes of a retired British serviceman in Myanmar, also known as Burma, which Britain colonised for more than a century.
In the footage due to be broadcast by Channel 4, British ambassador Andrew Patrick stops Mr Johnson mid-flow, before he gets to the line “Bloomin’ idol made o’ mud/ Wot they called the Great Gawd Budd” – a reference to Buddha.
Mr Patrick is heard telling Mr Johnson: “You’re on mic. Probably not a good idea.”
The Foreign Secretary then asks: “What, The Road to Mandalay?”
The ambassador replies: “No. Not appropriate.”
The Foreign and Commonwealth Office declined to comment.
:: Boris Johnson: Blond Ambition is on Channel 4 this Sunday.