Belfast Telegraph

Eamonn Holmes sorry for 'retarded' comment

By Louise Small

Eamonn Holmes has apologised after he called a fellow presenter “retarded” live on This Morning yesterday.

While reviewing the daily papers on the show, the well-known Northern Ireland-born TV personality was discussing a poll with his wife, Ruth Langsford, Jonathan Wilkes and Lizzy Cundy.

From the poll it emerged that a third of Britons are unaware where the UK’s three largest cities — London, Birmingham and Glasgow — are on the map.

Wilkes claimed he would be “in that third” and Holmes said that he was “retarded”.

When Holmes made the gaffe the other presenters laughed in response.

Shortly after a commercial break the TV pundit apologised, saying: “Sorry to three or four of you who have got in touch this morning, because I used the word ‘retarded’ during the newspaper review.

“You seem to take it personally or seem to say that I’m insulting all sorts of people who have all sorts of conditions, but obviously I would never want to do that or cause any sort of offence.”

Later, he posted on Twitter thanking his followers for their “support and understanding”.

He continued: “We all make mistakes, those who want to find mischief will push things.”

This is not the first time Holmes has hit the headlines with offensive remarks.

In 2008 in an interview with Hollywood film star Salma Hayek, the presenter made an off-hand comment.

He remarked on her surname, which she inherited from her father, who is Lebanese.

Holmes said: “Hayek doesn't sound very Mexican.”

As the Oscar-nominated star tried to explain that she was half-Lebanese, Holmes said: “You're a lesbian?”

In response to yesterdays comment, an ITV spokesperson said: “Eamonn accepts that it was a poor choice of words and it was not his intention to cause any offence.

“He apologised on air for any offence caused.”

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