BBC has been slammed for mistakenly using footage of LeBron James in a News At Ten item on the death of retired NBA legend Kobe Bryant.

LA Lakers icon Bryant, revered one of the greatest basketball players of all time, was killed alongside his 13-year-old daughter Gianna and seven others when their helicopter crashed in Calabasas, California on Sunday.

Bryant's tragic death at the age of 41 has left fans around the world devastated, and large crowds gathered outside the Staples Centre, home of the Lakers, to pay tribute to their hero.

In Sunday's News At Ten, the BBC's segment on Bryant embarrassingly included footage of basketball superstar James, who still plays for the Lakers, rather than Bryant.

The shocking mistake drew furious criticism on social media, with Twitter users blasting it as "pathetic", "insulting" and "a schoolboy error".

One Twitter user said: "Who cut this????? BBC news using footage of Lebron James instead of Kobe Bryant in their obit!!!!! IT EVEN SAYS JAMES ON HIS SHIRT."

Another wrote: "Can you explain why you showed footage of LeBron James rather than Kobe on the BBC1 10pm news? Pathetic BBC!!!"

Another tweeted: "It really is flat out insulting to presume Lebron James and Kobe look at all alike outside of their facial hair, total negligence on the BBC’s part."

And another commented: "Absolute schoolboy error."

Paul Royall, editor of BBC News at Six and Ten, apologised for the mistake and blamed "human error".

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