Eamonn Holmes was forced to make an on-air apology on This Morning after an unblurred image of the Italian magazine front cover featuring the duchess of Cambridge in a bikini “accidentally” appeared on screen.
The image appeared during the programme’s news review segment when the publication of the photographs of pregnant Kate on a private Caribbean holiday was being discussed. The photos, which have been condemned by St James’s Palace, show Kate strolling on a beach in Mustique with William.
The presenter said: “Unfortunately we accidentally showed an unblurred image of the magazine cover, which briefly showed the photographs.
This was a deeply regrettable error and we are very sorry. We apologise unreservedly to the duke and the duchess.”
This gaffe comes just months after This Morning presenter Phillip Schofield was roundly criticised after he confronted David Cameron with a list of alleged paedophiles.
He handed the UK prime minister a list of names which he said he had put together from internet rumours during the live show.
ITV apologised on the next day’s show and emphasised it was not pointing the finger at anyone in particular. Schofield was later forced to apologise after the list was briefly exposed on screen.
Meanwhile, the editor of an Australian magazine has defended her decision to print the photographs of Kate in a bikini, saying her readers will “love” the images. Woman’s Day is the second publication to use the pictures, following magazine Chi.
They were reportedly taken from a boat using a long-lens camera, but Fiona Connolly, editor of Woman’s Day, claimed a member of the public snapped the duchess.
Speaking to Australia’s Channel Nine network ahead of publishing the pictures on Monday, Ms Connolly said: “This is not a hard decision about these photos. Kate’s on a public beach, there are other holiday-makers there and she looks fabulous.”
She made a distinction between the new pictures and those taken while Kate was topless on holiday in France last year as the latest ones were not taken at a private location.
“As Australians, we see this every day. We see pregnant women in bikinis on the beach — and a public one at that — so we are a lot less sensitive here in Australia.”
A St James’s Palace spokesman said: “We are disappointed that photographs of the duke and duchess on a private holiday look likely to be published overseas. This is a clear breach of the couple’s right to privacy.”
The spokesman would not comment on whether William had been informed about the issue or if they were considering legal action.
Chi, which produced a 26-page spread showing last year’s topless images, published the Mustique pictures yesterday.
On a website publicising the magazine Kate, who is about four months pregnant, is pictured on the magazine’s front cover in a blue bikini striding knee-high through the sea above the headline “the belly grows”.
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