John Lennon blamed Sir Paul McCartney's hatred of his wife Yoko Ono for the break up of THE Beatles, according to a previously unheard interview with the IMAGINE star recorded in 1970.

In the revealing conversation, which was recorded by Rolling Stone magazine journalist Jann Wenner in the aftermath of The Beatles' split, Lennon reveals he felt compelled to choose between his wife and his bandmates - and he had no regrets about his decision.

Lennon says in the interview, "It seemed that I either had to be married to them or Yoko. I chose Yoko and I was right.

"They despised her. They insulted her and still do... they can go stuff themselves."

Lennon also displays extreme hostility to McCartney's treatment of the rest of the band following the death of their manager Brian Epstein in 1967.

He continues, "Paul took over and supposedly led us. But what is leading us when we went round in circles?

"Paul had the impression we should be thankful for what he did, for keeping The Beatles going. But he kept it going for his own sake. Not for my sake did Paul struggle."

The full interview with be broadcast in the UK by BBC Radio 4 next month (DEC05) to mark the 25th anniversary of Lennon's death.