Eamonn Holmes bids farewell to Sky News: The presenter's most ridiculous moments

From questioning a sex addict on why she doesn’t take up sex work to comparing Hillsborough to the attack on the Manchester United bus, the presenter has had his fair share of gaffes

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The Independent Online

Eamonn Holmes has never been far from some controversy or other during his eleven years as presenter of Sky News' Sunrise. From his inane questioning of Jeremy Corbyn to comparing violence at West Ham’s home game to Hillsborough and asking a sex addict why she doesn’t take up sex work, he has had more than his fair share of embarrassing and borderline offensive car-crash interviews.

Known for no-holds-barred, foot-in-mouth approach, the 56-year-old, has found himself, unintentionally or intentionally, dispensing with political correctness and embracing awkwardness.

Holmes recently announced he would be bidding farewell to the channel’s flagship programme and waking up Britain. In a statement announcing his departure, the Northern Irish journalist said if he did not leave now he never would. “There is an addiction to a live breaking news studio environment. However, after more than 3,000 hours of programming, it is a habit I have to suppress.”

“Anchoring my own breakfast show for 11 years has been for me the stuff of boyhood dreams. It was the job I hoped to do as a young Belfast lad - and because of Sky News I got there!”

Holmes will now instead be presenting a range of documentary projects which he has been putting on hold for some time and continuing his work with ITV and Channel 5.

On his last day on Sunrise, here is a look at some of the gaffe-prone presenter’s most memorable moments. 

Car-crash interview with Jeremy Corbyn

Holmes interview with Mr Corbyn was widely ridiculed, with viewers accusing him of patronising the Labour leader with “inane” questions. He was accused of “lowering the tone” on social media by telling Mr Corbyn he was a “hippy”, using football anaologies to describe his leadership, saying Mr Corbyn did not “love and respect anybody” and “hates the tories” and comparing him to a “religious leader”. 

Holmes insisted “caring and respect” could not be executed during the interview because he would be accused of “sucking up” to the politician. He finished the interview by probing Mr Corbyn about whether someone had borrowed him the tie he donned for his speech. Viewers had a field day mocking and condemning Holmes.

Hillsborough debacle

Back in May, he took it upon himself to compare violence at West Ham’s home game with Manchester United to the Hillsborough tragedy. 

In a report on the attacks on the Manchester United players’ bus on Tuesday night, he said: “This is going back to the 70s and to the 80s, the type of thing you were seeing that was bad about Hillsborough, for instance.”

His remarks, which came just weeks after an inquest ruled that 96 people had been unlawfully killed at Hillsborough stadium in 1989 and fans had in no way been responsible, prompted instantaneous outrage on Twitter. Sky News promptly released a statement in which Holmes apologised.

Saying Prince's "problem" was being more of a "girls' artist" for his "flamboyancy"

Holmes' tribute to Prince was not warmly recieved. Viewers took issue with him announcing the musician was “more of a girls’ artist” and men could not relate to his “flamboyancy”.

“I think there was a bit of a problem with Prince,” he said. “He was more of a girls' artist than a boys' artist. It was the flamboyancy. We find it hard to relate to him because there's that flamboyancy that you had with David Bowie as well."

“That'll be why Prince never ascended to the level of fame that Eamonn Holmes enjoys,” wrote one unamused user. “Prince and Bowie did not appeal to women more than men. They were idolised by both for their brilliance and innovation,” said another.

Mistaking the word 'Lebanese' for 'lesbian'

Salma Hayek might have been describing her Lebanese background but Holmes somehow misconstrued that she was instead coming out. While hosting This Morning back in 2008, Holmes commented on her surname - which she inherited from her father Sami Hayek, who is Lebanese, saying: “Hayek doesn't sound very Mexican.”

As Hayek tried to explain that she was half Lebanese, Holmes retorted: “You're a lesbian?”

Questioning a sex addict about why she doesn't take up sex work

Holmes shocked viewers when he took it upon himself to ask a self-proclaimed sex addict why she hadn’t turned to sex work. While interviewing Crystal Warren, he said: “'If you need this five or six times a day, have you never thought about making a business of it? Charging for it?”

Ms Warren replied: “What, becoming a prostitute?” and proceeded to explain why this was not a career path she would be embarking upon. But Holmes was not convinced. “If you’re not particularly selective then why wouldn’t it be a business to you?” People rebuked him for his remarks on social media.