Ben Elton royal remarks ‘taken out of context’

Ex-comedian Ben Elton has apologised on behalf of the British media for having taken recent remarks he made about the Royal Family “out of context”.

The remarks made by Elton on Australian satire show Good News Week caused controversy across the globe last week, forcing him to issue an apology over the way they were misrepresented by the media.

Elton, who famously turned his back on comedy in 1993, said yesterday: “When I was quoted as saying that the Queen was a ‘sad little old lady’ I was actually being really clever and satirical. If you’d read my latest novel, which is actually a stark social commentary on the state of modern Britain, then you would realise the point which I was trying to make. And I didn’t call Prince Phillip a ‘mad old bigot’ either. What I actually said, if people had bothered to listen was that he looked like he could be a mad old bigot, if you didn’t know him better.

“With the remark about Prince Charles, I was actually quoting something he said to me – which, if anyone had actually bothered to do some research, they would have realised. He’s a wonderful man and I can’t speak highly enough of him. I had the honour and the privilege of meeting him at the Royal Variety Performance when I hosted it a few years back and I was actually relaying the story of him telling me about how he felt like ‘a disillusioned ex-hippy’ at times.”

When pressed on the remark relating to Prince Edward, Elton clarified the point further, saying: “I meant ‘gay’ as in ‘rubbish’, which anyone with half a brain cell could work out. I was making the point that his production company has never made anything worthwhile, whilst cleverly utilising the way the kids speak these days. If you’d read the novel I wrote last year you’d see for yourself just how clever that was.”

Ben Elton is currently working on a “cutting social satire with a powerful subtext”, centred around the plight of a former comedian now considered “too successful” by the “media establishment”, which eventually forces him to move halfway across the world. “I’m actually rather pleased with how it’s taking shape,” said The Thin Blue Line creator yesterday. “And I think it’s set to show many people just what an arrogant hypocrite the British media actually is.”


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