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Monday, 10 February, 2003, 16:24 GMT
Bee Gee brands comic 'scum'
The Bee Gees
Maurice Gibb (left) died in January in Miami
Bee Gee Robin Gibb has said Graham Norton is "scum" after the comic made a joke on his chat show about Gibb's late brother Maurice.

Gibb said he would "rip his head off" if the two ever met, and demanded an apology for the comment from Norton and from Channel 4, which broadcasts his chat show.

Graham Norton
Norton's programme is one of Channel 4's biggest shows

Maurice Gibb, 53, died from heart problems in a Miami hospital last month after undergoing an operation on his stomach.

On his show V Graham Norton, Norton said: "I bet Maurice Gibb's heart monitor was singing the tune of Stayin' Alive."

The joke, the day after the Bee Gee had died, drew complaints from viewers.

Gibb told ITV1's This Morning: "Some very nasty things were said and I want to get them off my chest - in particular Graham Norton, who I used to respect and who I now detest and I think he's scum.

'Repulsive'

"I want an apology from Channel 4, the producers of Graham Norton and Graham Norton himself because he chose to say it," he said.

"He went on his TV show while my brother was dying in hospital and he said really repugnant and repulsive things about my brother's death process, which even today I still find it hard to recover from."

"This man I will never forgive. It's a small industry and he should hope that he never crosses paths with me because I will rip his head off if I see him," Gibb said.

Robin Gibb in Hamburg on 24 January
Robin Gibb said he hoped he would never meet Norton

A statement from Channel 4 and Graham Norton said: "There was no intention to cause any offence to the Gibb family and we're genuinely sorry that the comments have caused them upset.

"Graham added 'I did apologise to the family when the issue first arose and I'm very sorry that this apology did not reach the family at the time'," the statement said.

A spokeswoman from the Independent Television Commission said the watchdog was still investigating complaints it had received from viewers about the show.

She said it seemed Bee Gees fans had been urged by a fan club to complain, as the commission was getting messages from all over the world.

A ruling on the issue is not due for another two weeks, she added.

Maurice Gibb

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