Dr. Billy Ingram
Dr. Billy Ingram
Captain's log, stardate 06-20-2012: Participating in a panel last month in the United Kingdom, Star Trek's original Captain Kirk, William Shatner, insulted a British town with an improvised hooker quip. The awkward remark resulted in a stellar apology.
Foot, meet mouth. So what'd the 81-year-old actor say that got some Britons so riled up?
Per the BBC, Shatner appeared on the BBC1 show Have I Got News for You, where he talked about the scenic seaside town of Ilfracombe in the county of Devon in southwestern England, which is a venue for the Olympic torch relay.
Only thing was, the Priceline pitchman goofed and ended up mispronouncing its name. That led fellow panelist Charlie Brooker to remark that it sounded "deeply sexual," which prompted Shatner to joke, "The place is laced with prostitution."
Needless to say, that didn't go over well with Paul Crabb, Ilfracombe's ex-mayor who extended an invitation for the film and TV star to come visit and see for himself that "there is no prostitution in Ilfracombe."
"As Captain James T. Kirk, Mr. Shatner has been to places where no man has gone before; however, the episode of Have I Got News For You clearly shows he has never been to Ilfracombe," the politician wrote in a letter to Shatner's agents. "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."
Perhaps realizing his remark was better suited to a Comedy Central Roast than in a country where he's a guest, Mr. Negotiator made amends via a tongue-in-cheek email simply signed "Bill."
"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," Shatner wrote. "In any event, my apologies for having singled out Ilfracombe as a potential haven for prostitution. With you overseeing, I am sure that will not happen."
Well, let's hope his response puts that matter to, ah, bed.