BBC presenter is facing criticism after he made a comment about the personal appearance of Nicola Sturgeon live on air.

During the BBC Radio 4 programme The World This Weekend, presenter James Naughtie opened a discussion about the First Minister by saying she was “looking tired”.

He said: “Nicola Sturgeon’s been in place as First Minister for, well, getting on 10 years. Ten years next year.

“She’s looking tired. And a lot of people are saying maybe the time has come to step aside.”

The SNP’s former leader at Westminster, Ian Blackford, defended the First Minister on the programme.

"There have been amazing challenges that she’s had to deal with, Covid all the other things that you talk about," he said.

“My goodness I think she’s shown remarkable leadership to come through all of that.

READ MORE: Poll: Majority of SNP voters want Nicola Sturgeon to remain FM

“All of us get tired from time to time don’t we, but the woman I know has still got that determination to lead the SNP, to lead the government and crucially to make sure that we pilot a way through to Scotland becoming an independent country and leading that independent Scottish Government when we get to that point as well.”

SNP MSP Emma Roddick was also on the programme and called out Naughtie's language. 

She said: "My concern is there’s still a bit of a gendered narrative that we can see on the reporting of how she deals with challenges.

"There’s a lot of 'oh she seems tired, she seems annoyed'..." 

Naughtie then asked: "They wouldn’t say that about a man, you mean?"

Roddick responded: "Yeah. If a male politician had to answer the same question over and over because somebody didn’t like the answer and got a bit annoyed by that I don’t think it would make the headlines in this way."

Follwing the broadcast, president of the SNP Michael Russell told The National: “The last time I saw James he was looking tired, too. But I thought it would be presumptuous of me to tell him to retire.

“This is just arrogant and thoughtless. And it’s about time the BBC recognise that such comments further damage their reputation amongst most people in Scotland.”

It comes as a new poll found that four in 10 voters in Scotland thought Nicola Sturgeon should step down due to the row over gender recognition reform.

However, the same poll found that 72% of Yes voters though the First Minister should remain in her post.

The BBC have been approached for comment.