Ben Elton has become the latest comic to provoke a tabloid storm, after joking about the Royal Family on Australian TV.
The comic, who is reportedly set to move to Western Australia, called The Queen ‘a sad little old lady’, Prince Philip a ‘mad old bigot’ and Prince Andrew ‘a bit of a yob’.
But his comments referring to rumours that Prince Edward was gay caused most newspaper outrage, when he said: ‘we used to think took it from behind.’
His jokes came on the topical comedy show Good News Week, when host Paul McDermott gave him the phrase ‘The Queen’ in a word association game.
He said that he had met the Queen a number of times, and said that she was an ‘ordinary woman’ like her subjects.
Elton added: ‘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.
‘The eldest one is a disillusioned ex-hippy, the middle one a bit of a yob, the youngest lad we used to think took it from behind. I’m just saying 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.’
The 50-year-old also joked about having sex with his old nemesis, Margaret Thatcher, saying: ‘She sort of annoyed me because she would always want to smoke afterwards and I hated that because that was so dirty.’
The comic has been happy to appear at Royal occasions since his anti-establishmment days, performing at Party At The Palace for the Queen’s Golden Jubilee in 2002 and the Prince’s Trust 30th anniversary concert.
Here he is on Monday’s Good News Week. The royal comments – which have been picked up by most British tabloids – come after the 2:30mins mark
Last week it was reported that Elton – whose wife is Australian – was quitting Britain to move to Fremantle next month.
But yesterday, he said it was ‘nonsense’ that he was turning his back on the UK, adding: ‘My wife is Australian and my children are half-Australian, we have a large Aussie family and are going to base ourselves over there for a while in order to be near them. It’s as simple as that.
‘The outpouring of speculation about reasons and motivations for our temporary relocation has been extraordinary and very disappointing.’