Star Trek star William Shatner has learned the hard way that offhand sexual jokes about English towns don’t go unnoticed when they’re made on British television. The comment was made on a May 28 episode of the BBC game show Have I Got News For You. The joke, regarding the town of Ilfracombe, came when the community was mentioned as an Olympic torch relay venue. After Shatner mispronounced the town’s name, fellow guest panelist Charlie Brooker noted that it sounded “deeply sexual.” This led the veteran actor to remark that the town is “laced with prostitution.” Shatner has never visited Ilfracombe.
Shatner’s off-color remark prompted Ilfracombe town councillor Paul Crabb to write a letter to the actor, inviting him to the seaside resort town: “If he came we could show him that there is no prostitution in Ilfracombe and that it is a lovely coastal town with spectacular scenery and a close community.” Shatner replied to Crabb’s letter with a characteristically cheeky letter of apology: “I would be hard pressed to believe that sex was not being had in Ilfracombe for something of value, perhaps a lengthy marriage, children or a valuable career.” See video footage of the comment below. ~Emily Davies