16/03/2018 09:05 GMT | Updated 16/03/2018 11:29 GMT

The Chase’s Anne Hegerty Leaves Paris Lees Shocked With ‘You Used To Be A Boy’ Comment

'You could have cut the atmosphere with a knife.'

‘The Chase’ star Anne Hegerty caused a stir during an appearance on ‘The Wright Stuff’ yesterday (15 March), when she commented that journalist and transgender activist Paris Lees “used to be a boy”.

Anne and Paris were both appearing on the show to discuss the big headlines of the day, which included the ongoing debate around the gender pay gap.

During the panel discussion, Anne noted that she was already “on record” as saying she was not “terribly bothered” about the disparity between men and women’s pay, insisting that leadership roles existed for women, should they want to go after them.

Channel 5
Paris Lees and Anne Hegerty

Paris commented on what she felt was an “old boys’ club at the top” in the corporate world, to which Anne insisted she was “not really” convinced that such a thing existed.

When Paris then said she’d “have to disagree”, Anne left the studio stunned when she responded: “Okie doke. Well, you used to be a boy, you’d know that.”

The remark left a brief moment of uncomfortable silence hanging in the studio, at which point presenter Matthew Wright, without commenting on it, attempted to move the conversation along.

Paris has since said she was “shocked” by Anne’s remark, but insisted she was convinced it wasn’t meant with malicious intent.

She told The Sun: “The whole studio – the audience fell silent. I don’t think anyone knew what to say. You could have cut the atmosphere with a knife.

“I didn’t make a big deal out of it. I love the show and Matthew, and I’m sure she didn’t mean to be malicious. I hope she didn’t mean it to come across the way it did.

“I didn’t say anything backstage, but everyone else came and checked I was OK. I’m not easily shaken, I’ve had worse in my time, but when you’re on TV, you don’t expect it.”

Meanwhile, during Friday’s (16 March) show, guest presenter Anne Diamond commented on the controversy on behalf of ‘The Wright Stuff’, apologising to Paris and any viewers who took offence.

Wrapping up a segment as she led into an ad break, Anne said: “Just a quick word about yesterday’s programme.

“Yesterday during a discussion about gender pay with Anne Hegerty and Paris Lees, Anne made a remark to Paris about her gender. Now, we apologise to Paris and anyone at home who was offended by what was said.”

A spokesperson for Anne Hegerty said she was not available for comment when approached by HuffPost UK.

Watch Anne Diamond’s apology below:

Photo gallery Awkward Interview Moments See Gallery