Robin Williams. Picture: AP

It appears no coffee was spilt and few eyebrows were raised among Radio New Zealand's listeners as an expletive-laden Robin Williams comedy sketch mistakenly hit the early morning airwaves.

Williams' sketch about childhood aired on the Summer Mornings program just after 6.30am on Monday (local time).

Throughout, Williams says "f***" on several occasions, as well as "bulls***".

RNZ senior program manager John Howson says the item slipped through the usually "pretty rigorous" checking process.

"We will always err on the side of caution with these sort of things and wouldn't normally play it. It got through, it shouldn't have," he told NZ Newswire.

The program's presenter Stuart Keith was provided with the CD and told it had been checked, Howson says.

"The presenter in turn took it in good faith and played the track."

Keith was out of the studio as it went to air but caught the last of the sketch as he returned.

"I was reliably informed that it had been cleared for broadcast," he told listeners.

"I'm in do-dos up to my ears."

However, Howson says the reaction from listeners has been positive, with texts and emails coming in saying it was very funny and more of it should be played.

No complaints have been received so far.

Howson says expletives have been broadcast on Radio NZ before but always in a context, for example, in a drama.

"We've accepted it but we always consider it very carefully."

The West Australian

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