Saturday, 23 May 2009

What would Spartacus think ?

BBC says sorry as Tony Curtis turns the airwaves blue

By Victoria O’Hara
Saturday, 23 May 2009 

Screen legend Tony Curtis forced the BBC to apologise to thousands of listeners after swearing during a live radio interview in Northern Ireland. 

The actor, who famously dressed as a woman opposite Marilyn Monroe in Some Like It Hot, turned the air blue with profanity on BBC Radio Ulster yesterday. 

The 84-year-old was being interviewed to promote his book American Prince, which will include a visit to the Ulster Hall in Belfast on Wednesday. 

However, during the phone interview on Talk Back the acclaimed actor swore numerous times, forcing presenter William Crawley to apologise. 

Curtis was asked how he came to liken the love scene with Monroe in the 1959 movie to “kissing Hitler” and he told how it was a private, off-the-cuff remark while under pressure on the film set. 

Then he said: “And you know what, some b******s go away and make that a headline.” 

Mr Crawley apologised and then went on to ask the actor about his Oscar nomination for his role in The Defiant Ones. 

Curtis replied: “They nominated Sidney (Poitier) and I for the same part in that film, and that was bull***t, I was offended by that”, leading to the presenter offering another apology. 

The Hollywood legend went on to swear again when explaining how he hates the Oscars. He said: “I think it is unfair the way they treat actors... they can f*** off.” 

In reply Mr Crawley said: “Oh no, now come on! We can't use that language, I apologise to our listeners.” The actor apologised after realising the programme was live. 

“You can always cut those bits out, we are not live, are we? Oh, it is live! I apologise to everybody for what I have said, I didn't want to offend anyone, I apologise.” 

But Mr Crawley told him: “Don't worry, people in Northern Ireland are very understanding.” 

In a statement the BBC said: “There were approximately seven calls/text messages to Talk Back with a balanced reaction. We apologise for any offence caused.” 

Speaking to the Belfast Telegraph earlier, Curtis spoke about his time on the set of Some Like It Hot. “Billy Wilder (the director) said when he decided to do the picture he should have Tony Curtis to do it because he is the handsomest fella in town. Isn’t that a great compliment?”

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