British gay rights group OUTRAGE! are demanding an apology from the BBC after a TV host made a joke suggesting SIR Elton John is sexually excited by young boys.

Comedian DARA O'BRIAIN was serving as guest host on Friday's (13MAY05) topical quiz show Have I Got News For You, when he started a discussion about the ROCKET MAN's role in turning movie Billy Elliot into a hit London musical.

But the activists were horrified when O'Briain remarked, "Elton sees a little bit of himself in Billy," referring to John having anal sex with the fictional 11-year-old ballet dancer.

OutRage! spokesman BRETT LOCK fumes, "We'll be asking them to ask Mr O'Briain to apologise and an apology from the BBC wouldn't go amiss either.

"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.

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

A BBC spokesman insists the joke was written by a team of writers and that only one other person had complained about the nature of the joke.

Spokespeople for John and O'Briain were not available for comment.

19/05/2005 13:56