This Morning’s Eamonn Holmes has sparked more than 150 complaints to Ofcom after saying that Dr Zoe Williams’ hair reminded him of an alpaca.
The presenter made the comment on the ITV show earlier this month, saying that the doctor’s hair looked “very alpaca-ish” and that “you just want to pet it”.
Holmes quickly apologised, saying on Twitter that he was trying to be humorous but that it was misjudged and that he felt “mortified”.
However, broadcasting watchdog Ofcom has now confirmed to Yahoo that it has received 156 complaints about the comments.
Viewers were left fuming last week when Holmes likened Dr Williams' hair to an alpaca, as she appeared during the show's schedule run down to say she would be talking about the health benefits of the animals.
“Your hair reminds me of an alpaca today,” Holmes remarked. “You just want to pet it don’t you.
“It’s very alpaca-ish.”
Pointing her pen at the camera, the doctor told Holmes: “Don’t touch my hair!”
Hey everyone out there. if my attempt at being humorous with my friend @DrZoeWilliams was misjudged I am mortified and humbly apologise to anyone who was offended.
— Eamonn Holmes (@EamonnHolmes) August 12, 2021
Fans watching the exchange posted plenty of messages about it on social media, saying it was “rude” and asking Holmes: “Have you learnt nothing?!”
The 61-year-old apologised, tweeting: “Hey everyone out there. If my attempt at being humorous with my friend @DrZoeWilliams was misjudged I am mortified and humbly apologise to anyone who was offended.”
Dr Williams also addressed the incident, saying on Instagram that she had accepted the presenter’s apology.
She went on: “What I want to say is that I’m aware that his remarks, though meant without malice, have offended people. And if that comment had been made to me by a stranger, then I too would likely be offended.
“It was mis-judged and I think it’s fair to say that both Eamonn and I wish it hadn’t been said.”
Dr Williams said it pained her to see the “abuse” levelled at Holmes, saying he was a friend and “one of the most warm-hearted people in television”.
But she said it had also “opened the door to a conversation” that needed to be had.
Concluding her post, she said: “So, my ask, would be that people are open to trying to understand where this upset comes from in order to make the necessary changes for future generations.
“And to those who were offended, my ask is not to take all of your frustrations out on one person who made a genuine mistake, but to use this example in a positive way to highlight and educate so that we can progress.”