Viewers tuning in to BBC Question on Thursday in the hope that Piers Morgan and Joey Barton would continue their Twitter spat live on air instead saw the QPR footballer accused of sexism by an audience member.
The audience groaned as Barton compared last week's European Parliament and local elections to “choosing between ugly girls”.
“If I'm somewhere and there was four really ugly girls, I'm thinking she's not the worst - that's all Ukip are,” said Barton.
While former Mirror editor Piers Morgan and the QPR footballer barely spoke, and ended the programme by laughing and joking with each other, newly elected North West England Ukip MEP Louise Bours quickly hit back at Barton’s analogy.
“What an offensive thing to say,” she said, before accusing Barton of being a “typical” footballer with his “brains in [his] feet”.
The remark haunted Barton for the remainder of the programme, with chair David Dimbleby frequently making jokes
When the discussion moved on to the Chilcott inquiry later in the show, an audience member told Barton that she had agreed with him before he had made the “sexist” comment, and warned him of a likely Twitter backlash.
"I do apologise - I couldn't think of a better one, this is the first time I have ever done it [Question Time]," he said by way of apology.
"As Louise rightly pointed out my brains are in my feet, which is an equally offensive statement.
"Maybe I was a little bit nervous, I apologise."
While some users on Twitter appeared to be amused by Barton's comment, many agreed the audience member and said they were disappointed that Barton had marred his otherwise strong performance.
Tory MP David Willetts and Labour MP Margaret Curran also appeared on the programme filmed in Heathrow Terminal 2.Reuse content