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Ben Elton apologises for 'gay Prince Edward' jibe during TV tirade against Royal Family...


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Ben Elton apologises for 'gay Prince Edward' jibe during TV tirade against Royal Family... claiming it was 'out of context'



By Mail Foreign Service

Last updated at 12:07 PM on 18th November 2009




article-1228571-073F1B6C000005DC-533_233x327.jpg Outspoken: Ben Elton on the Australian TV show


Ben Elton has apologised for his vitriolic attack on the Royal Family during a live Australian television show.

Elton, who last week announced he is moving to Australia, lambasted the Royal Family on Monday night - calling the Queen 'a sad little old lady', Prince Philip a 'mad old bigot', Prince Charles 'a disillusioned ex-hippy' and Prince Andrew 'a bit of a yob'.

The writer and comedian made the comments on an Australian television show called Good News Week - similar to Mock The Week in Britain.

Today his spokesman claimed the comments were taken out of context, despite them being aired as part of the live show.

He said: 'Ben Elton apologises for any offence which may have been caused. The quotes attributed to him have been taken entirely out of context.

'He was making a joke about Australian republicanism, pointing out on a comedy show that the Queen and her family were far more reflective of the modern rainbow population they represented than any other.'

In the first half of the 'routine', Elton declared his affection for the Queen, the spokesman added.


During the 90-minute programme, Elton also joked that he had slept with Margaret Thatcher and attacked the decision to stage the 2012 Olympics in London.




Elton, 50, said he was only appearing on the show to promote his new novel Meltdown, about the global financial crisis.


Commenting about the recession, added: 'Still, it gave me a novel, so b******* to all the poor people.'


Then, when playing a word association game, he was given the phrase 'the Queen'.

He replied: 'She's an ordinary woman. She's a sad little old lady who lives in state sponsored accommodation, her husband is a mad old bigot who wishes it was still the war, three out of four of her kids' marriages have failed - that's very common.'






About her children, he added: 'The eldest one is a disillusioned ex-hippy, the middle one a bit of a yob.'


article-0-0724E707000005DC-630_233x555.jpg Elton with Australian wife Sophie Gare


He then made a gay reference to Prince Edward, before adding: 'That's a bog-standard British family in all its rainbow glory.


'If she had a black one and a disabled one, she'd have the full deck. She represents Britain more than any head of state represents their country.'

He also joked that he slept with Mrs Thatcher. 'She sort of annoyed me because she would always want to smoke afterwards and I hated that because that was so dirty,' he said.

He then gave an impression of the former prime minister, saying: 'That was absolutely marvellous, Ben.'

Turning to the Olympics, he said: 'I'm so p***** off that we've got the Olympics in Britain.

'Firstly, it's obviously only because people feel sorry for us and to let us win some medals for once.


'I don't like it, I'm not interested in sport. I mean why, why do it?'

He then made a sick joke about British athletes being made to train Al Qaeda terrorists 'because then they would throw their bombs and miss the target'.

When fellow contestants and the host tried to lighten the mood, Elton snapped: 'You're not paying me to be on this show.


'The plug [of his book] is my fee. That's why I am here.'

He then declared he was more successful than singer Kylie Minogue.

'I've written 13 novels, all top five bestsellers, seven number ones. Count them - I'm bigger than Kylie.'


Elton is moving to Fremantle in Western Australia next month with his wife, the Australian saxophonist Sophie Gare, and their three children.


After the Good News Week show aired, one viewer, Hazel Spooner, an ex-pat from North London, described Elton's performance as 'vile and crude'.



She added: 'He was like a spoilt child saying more and more outrageous things just for the attention. If that is what he thinks Australians want, he can stay in Britain, thank you very much.'

Another viewer, Michelle Astley, 34, of Melbourne, said: 'The things he said about the Royal Family were disgusting.'

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