Daley Thompson under fire after cracking anti-Irish joke on live TV
The BBC has been forced to apologise after a series of complaints were made over an anti-Irish joke cracked by British double Olympic champion Daley Thompson on live TV.
The double gold medal-winning decathlete, who is known to have an ego as big as his iconic moustache, made the bizarre quip during BBC's The One Show.
On Thursday's live broadcast, he was shown a picture of a torch bearer with a misspelled tattoo reading "Oylmpic torch bearer" on her arm. Thompson then joked the tattoo artist must have been Irish. After a flurry of complaints, the BBC made an apology for his remarks.
"Thanks for contacting us regarding 'The One Show' broadcast on BBC One on 19 July," began a BBC letter of reply to one complainant.
"We understand you felt a comment made by Daley Thompson regarding Irish people was extremely offensive. We have received complaints from some viewers unhappy with a comment made by Daley Thompson, and we made the Executive Producer of the show aware of these concerns.
"At the beginning of the show Matt & Alex introduced Daley Thompson to the show and discussed the Olympic Torch, showing a picture of an unfortunate spelling mistake on a torchbearer's tattoo.
"Thompson comments about this were clearly meant as a joke but we apologise if any offence was caused; it certainly wasn't our intention."
The Olympian has also invited the scorn of five gold medal-winner Steve Redgrave, speaking blithely of the rower's achievements and suitability to light the Olympic cauldron at the London Games' opening ceremony this coming Friday.
"Why would there be rivalry? In my opinion Sebastian Coe is the second greatest Olympian, after myself," said Thompson.
"Steve Redgrave is not in the same class as Seb Coe. He is a rower, but I think track and field is the toughest sport in the Olympics, which means the rewards are greater."
Asked earlier this month if Regrave was Britain's number one Olympian, Thompson replied: "I don't think so. It depends on your opinion. I should be the most famous man on earth." He's quite a charmer, isn't he?