Australian journalist Charles Wooley has continued the Jacinda Ardern saga, comparing calling the Prime Minister "attractive" to his grandfather describing a whiskey bottle label in the same way.

The comments about Ardern's looks were made in a 60 Minutes interview with the PM, during which Wooley also questioned when her baby was conceived.

Despite being slammed by viewers, Wooley has continued to defend his comments including in a column for Australian publication the Mercury, according to Fairfax.

"My grandfather was a Kiwi Anzac so I had only narrowly avoided a nasty case of dual citizenship," he wrote.


"I remember he once described the label of a bottle of whisky we gave him as 'attractive' but I think he got away with it."

The presenter went on to label New Zealand as the land where sheep are nervous – a joke often used to refer to bestiality.

"I'm not sure what is the most common meaning of 'attractive' in the land where sheep are jokingly said [but not by me] to be nervous," he said. "But that word 'attracted' fury among the irritable trolls of Kiwi social media."

Clarke Gayford, Jacinda Ardern and reporter Charles Wooley. Photo/60 Minutes
Clarke Gayford, Jacinda Ardern and reporter Charles Wooley. Photo/60 Minutes

But joking aside, Wooley said that being accused of being sexist by some viewers after the interview screened in Australia last Sunday "cut him to the core".

While viewers took to social media to describe Wooley's remarks as "patronising" and "sexist", Ardern said she was taken aback but not offended.

The question about her baby's conception date was a case of "too much information" but Ardern said she did not feel the question or Wooley's comments on her looks were sexist.

Joking that "perhaps because I'm from Morrinsville" Ardern said she had not felt offended during the interview and that nothing in particular about it had stood out to her at the time of filming.

Wooley also stated in the column that Ardern and her partner Clarke Gayford liked the story and couldn't see what all the fuss was about.