Craig Revel Horwood is "deeply sorry" for offending Kevin Clifton and Stacey Dooley on Strictly Come Dancing.
The 54-year-old choreographer admitted he had made a "huge error" when he joked about the relationship between last year's champions at the filming of the launch show for the 2019 series on Friday (Augsut 30).
He claimed they proved that it "helped" the contestants if they slept with their professional partners.
But he has now apologised and said: "I'm deeply sorry for the offence caused to Kevin and Stacey and everyone who works on the show.
"I recognise that what I said was hurtful, cruel and incredibly disrespectful. It was a huge error of judgment that I very much regret."
Craig made his comments after Stacey and Kevin - whose relationship emerged some time after the show ended - had danced.
I'm deeply sorry for the offence caused to Kevin and Stacey.
Host Tess Daly then asked the judging panel, which also features Motsi Mabuse, Shirley Ballas and Bruno Tonioli for their advice to this year's cast.
The dance expert said the hopefuls should be inspired by the documentary maker but then quipped: "Stacey was dragged up from the dance gutter... of course, if you sleep with your dance partner that helps."
Filming was immediately stopped and aides spoke with Stacey and her family before the panel sequence was re-shot.
A source told The Sun on Sunday newspaper: "It was an awful moment. Craig was obviously trying to be funny, but realised as soon as he said it that he had gone too far."
The publication reports the audience, Tess and the judges were "visibly shocked" and filming was halted immediately.
"Several aides rushed over to Stacey and her family to check if they were OK. They were all stunned, and Stacey's mum obviously wasn't OK at all.
"She looked very upset, and soon after that she left the studio in floods of tears."
Bosses were said to be "absolutely furious" and told him his comment was "totally unacceptable."
He was asked to make a full apology to the couple and knowing he was out of order, Craig was said to be happy to do so.
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