British comedian Russell Brand has been blasted by physically disabled athletes after describing the Paralympics as having a "novelty value".
The comedian made the comment while joking about London's upcoming Olympic Games at a stand-up gig on Tuesday (06Sep11).
He told the crowd, "I don't give a f**k about the Olympics. It's boring Blue Peter sport and a waste of taxpayers' money. At least the Paralympics have some kind of novelty value or something."
Several leading Paralympians have spoken out against Brand after taking exception to the remark, calling the joke "patronising".
Wheelchair racer David Weird, who won two gold medals at the 2008 Beijing games, tells Britain's The People, "Calling the sport a novelty is offensive. It's not like I get up, do one marathon then go to bed for the rest of the year. I train every day - I am no different to Paula Radcliffe."
Dressage star Natasha Baker adds, "We've worked harder than anyone to get here. We've suffered life-threatening illnesses. It's both patronising and upsetting for Russell Brand to describe us as a novelty."