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Last Updated: Wednesday, 18 May, 2005, 14:58 GMT 15:58 UK
Anger at Elton 'paedophile' joke
Sir Elton John with actors in the new Billy Elliot stage musical
Sir Elton John wrote the score for the new Billy Elliot stage musical
Gay rights group OutRage! says it is to complain to the BBC over a joke about Sir Elton John on Friday's topical quiz show Have I Got News For You?.

Guest host Dara O'Briain made a remark about Sir Elton's role writing the score for stage musical Billy Elliot.

"Elton sees a little bit of himself in Billy," he said, referring to the fictional 11-year-old ballet dancer.

OutRage! called it "offensive" and "a cheap shot". The BBC said only one other person complained about the joke.

A BBC spokesperson said the line came from a team of writers but declined to comment further until OutRage!'s complaint had been made.

Dara O'Briain on Have I Got News For You
Dara O'Briain has become a regular guest host of the show
OutRage!'s Brett Lock said the group was "in the process" of making its objection to the corporation.

"We'll be asking them to ask Mr O'Briain to apologise and an apology from the BBC wouldn't go amiss either," he said.

"It's very odd that a joke of that nature made it past the vetting procedures.

"The joke was aimed at suggesting any older gay man would naturally have a sexual interest in young boys, and I think that is what is most offensive."

He said it was "doubly offensive" because Sir Elton was in a monogamous long-term relationship with a person of a similar age and there had never been any suggestion he was attracted to boys.

"We certainly hope that it will come to his attention and perhaps he will be moved to complain himself," Mr Lock added.

Spokespeople for Sir Elton and O'Briain were not available for comment.


SEE ALSO:
Press views: Billy Elliot
12 May 05 |  Entertainment
Sir Elton planning to wed partner
25 Apr 05 |  Entertainment
BBC cleared over Elton outburst
15 Feb 05 |  Entertainment
George Michael hits back at Elton
14 Dec 04 |  Entertainment


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