Even co-host Holly Willoughby looked taken aback when Holmes asked sex addict Crystal Warren whether she’d thought about becoming a prostitute.
Warren, 42, appeared on This Morning to discuss her claim that she has slept with more than 1,000 men. She told viewers that she’d lost her job due to her sex addiction.
In response, Holmes asked her: “If you need this five or six times a day, have you never thought about making a business of it? Charging for it?”
“If you’re not particularly selective, what I’m saying is, why wouldn’t it be a business to you?”
Taking the comment in remarkably good humour, Warren responded: “Then it becomes a business, then I become maybe like a robot.
“This way I am enjoying it, I do it when I want to do it, I get to choose who I sleep with.”
There was an instant backlash on Twitter as viewers voiced their anger at Holmes’ question.
“Eamonn Holmes puts his foot in his mouth again.” He’s flexible for a big lad isn’t he? Also, the thing’s he’ll do for ratings,” tweeted one person.
However, Holmes was unrepentant and took to Twitter himself, calling his questions “very obvious” and retweeting a fan who wrote: “Can’t believe the drama around @EamonnHolmes asking a question, every1 was thinking, on This Morning.”
ITV has defended its presenter, telling The Sun: “Eamonn’s question was in the context of a wider balanced and frank interview and we have had no complaints.”
Watch Eamonn Holmes in action on This Morning here.
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Eamonn Holmes’ worst gaffes
A classic Eamon Holmes gaffe came while the presenter was interviewing Salma Hayek. When the actress told him she was half Lebanese, Holmes asked excitedly: “You’re a lesbian?”
“Oh sorry, i thought you were half lesbian. Forgive me.”
More seriously, Holmes once appeared to blame a rape victim for her attack when he told viewers:
“She was on her way home from a night out with her friends and walking home – didn’t take a taxi. It’s that old thing, I always say. Why were you tempted to walk home?”
Last October, Holmes angered disability charities when he called actor Jonathan Wilkes a “retard” after the actor admitted that he wouldn’t be able to find the UK’s three biggest cities on a map.