ITV release statement after Eamonn Holmes is caught up in race row following Meghan Markle comment

25 November 2019, 10:21 | Updated: 25 November 2019, 10:30

The This Morning presenter was questioned by ITV after describing Meghan Markle as 'uppity'.

Eamonn Holmes was caught up in a race row earlier this year after calling Meghan Markle 'uppity' for her behaviour at Wimbledon.

Read more: Kate Middleton forced to cancel royal appearance with Prince William last minute 'due to the children'

He and wife Ruth Langsford were discussing 'Is Meghan being unfairly criticised?' in the wake of the royal refusing to share details of her son Archie, who was three months old at the time, with the public.

Eamonn was slammed for his comments back in June
Eamonn was slammed for his comments back in June. Picture: ITV

Eamonn attracted an OfCom complaint after saying: "You do know why it's landing on her, if you have an uppity attitude, you're only through the door two minutes, and then suddenly you're sitting at Wimbledon and you're royal protection people are saying ' no photographs', you do know as a reporter you'd be the first writing that they are right up their own backside. You would."

The word 'uppity' has racial connotations, which ITV have now said that he was unaware of when he used it.

Read more: Prince William questioning Harry’s relationship with Meghan ‘is the source of royal rift between the brothers’

Ade Rawcliffe, the head of diversity for the broadcaster, wrote to the viewer to explain the situation, writing: "Eamonn was unaware of the history of the term ‘uppity’ and how it could be interpreted when describing Meghan Markle.

"We are not saying that ignorance is in any way a defence, he was using the term to describe what he interpreted as arrogance.

Meghan reportedly accused a man of taking photos of her at Wimbledon
Meghan reportedly accused a man of taking photos of her at Wimbledon. Picture: Getty

"The origins of the term have now been explained to Eamonn and the wider editorial team and it won’t be used again. We apologise for any offence that this may have caused you."

And a spokesperson added, according to the Mirror: "Eamonn Holmes was absolutely not reprimanded for his use of the word 'uppity'. 

Read more: The Queen and Prince Charles called Prince Andrew to Buckingham Palace to ‘sack him’

"Conversations took place with Eamonn and the wider production team involving an explanation of a possible interpretation of the word, which had come to light on the basis of a complaint made to the channel after the broadcast.

"Therefore this was a point of learning for the wider team, not in any way a rebuke."