Hugh Grant’s Gay Rugby Joke Backfires

Hugh Grant

Hugh Grant

If you had to come up with three adjectives to describe Hugh Grant, I bet one of them would be “charming,” right? Even when he’s acting befuddled and lost for words, he’s still essentially a charming fellow. Charming is his unique selling point.

So having been asked to come in and provide a bit of extra commentary on a live rugby game for the BBC, that’d be a bad time for Hugh’s charm supplies to suddenly run out, wouldn’t it? Yeah.

Unfortunately, that’s what happened. Hugh was asked if he ever played the sport at school — and for anyone who has never played the game, can I tell you that it hurts every bit as much as it appears to — and in order to describe his tackling technique, threw in an off-color reference to homosexuals.

He said: “I discovered it hurt less if you tackled hard, than if you tackled like a queen.”

This has provoked angry complaints from viewers, some voicing their concerns on Twitter, and wondering whether gay rugby players such as Wales’s Gareth Thomas would find his turn of phrase quite so charming.

A BBC spokesperson told the Sun newspaper: “We apologize for any offense his comments may have caused.”

What’s your favorite live TV celebrity gaffe? Tell us here.

Fraser McAlpine

Fraser McAlpine

Fraser has been writing and broadcasting about music and popular culture for over 15 years, first at the Top of the Pops website, and most recently for the NME, Guardian and MSN. He also wrote BBC Radio 1's Chart Blog and reviews albums for BBC Radio 2.

He is Anglophenia's current resident Brit, blogging about British slang and running around the Mall taking snaps of the crowd at the Royal Wedding, as well as reigniting a childhood passion for classic Doctor Who and cramming as much music in as he can manage.

Fraser invites you to join him on Twitter: @csi_popmusic

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