Candice Brown is, without a doubt, one of the most popular Bake Off winners yet; over 14 million people tuned in to watch the 31-year-old beat Andrew Smyth and Jane Beedle in the finale (the show’s highest ever audience) and, since then she’s gone from strength to strength.
Exuding #girlpower and confidence, she recently won over an army of brand-new fans after bravely making the decision to quit her career as a PE teacher so that she might better follow her dreams.
So it makes sense that so many of them were up in arms today after her ‘uncomfortable’ appearance on ITV’s This Morning.
Brown appeared on the mid-morning show to host a cooking segment, whipping up a delicious salted caramel apple crumble – but viewers were distracted by 56-year-old Eamonn Holmes’ ‘flirtatious’ interactions with the star.
The presenter – alongside his wife and co-presenter Ruth Langsford – asked Brown about her sporting hobbies and her career as a PE teacher, before cutting in to say: “One of the attractions when I first met my wife was that I - mistakenly - thought that she’d be rather sporty.”
He went on to explain that his wife only ‘looked’ athletic.
Throughout the segment, Holmes explained that he wasn’t a fan of cinnamon. But, whilst taking a bite of her creation, he said: “You barely detect the cinnamon. It’s the nicest infusion. It’s beautiful Candice. It’s no wonder you won that competition.
“That is the most wonderful cinnamon custard.”
Holmes also jokingly told his wife Langsford to “shut up” at one point when she attempted to point out that they were running out of time for the segment, reassuring the GBBO winner that she could have as much time as she needed – and quipped that he would make the rest of the show shorter, if needs be.
However his behaviour was branded as ‘sexist’ and ‘uncomfortable’ by viewers watching at home.
“Eamon is making me feel so uncomfortable, and I'm at the other end of the country,” wrote one, adding: “Poor Candice.”
Another wrote: “How sexist was Eamonn Holmes on This Morning? I bet he made Candice feel uncomfortable on her first visit.”
A number of other This Morning fans also didn't like the fact that Eamonn appeared to be flirting in front of his co-presenter, and wife, Ruth.
“Eamonn Holmes flirting with Candice from Bake Off while his wife is standing right next to him is making me very uncomfortable,” tweeted one.
eamonn holmes flirting with candice from bake off while his wife is standing right next to him is making me very uncomfortable— ash ⭐ (@ashldark) December 2, 2016
Opinion was divided as to whether Holmes had been sexist; some viewers admitted that they had found the exchange to be very entertaining, with one writing: “Eamonn is too funny. Paying compliments to Candice and winding up Ruth. LOL.”
Another supporter added: “Think Eamonn Holmes is a little bit smitten with Candice – This Morning made me smile.”
Brown, too, seemed unfazed by the attention she was shown during the episode.
She took to Twitter to write: “Thank you so much for having me – @RuthieeL @EamonnHolmes @thismorning.
“You were gorgeous and @Rylan you were the perfect cooking buddy.”
Brown has a habit of taking things in her stride; she recently revealed that she was rejected by Bake Off producers twice before, finally, they accepted her application.
And, after her ‘whirlwind’ of a decision to quit her job, she also explained that it'll take her awhile to get used to her change of career.
“I feel nervous. I feel horrendous. It's hard,” she said. “The school have been amazing. It was sad, because it was so short notice. I kept saying to people ‘don't look at me’.”