Retired Formula One star Sir Stirling Moss has apologised after suggesting that he didn’t want a ‘poofter’ to portray him in a film.
The 83-year-old, hailed as one of the sport’s greatest drivers, had been asked whether he should be played by a ‘masculine’ actor if a film were to be made of his life.
"I hope the actor would be masculine, not a poofter or anything like that. Perhaps the guy from Skyfall?" Moss responded, referring to Daniel Craig.
As the conversation continued, Sir Stirling added that he had “homosexual friends” and insisted that “there’s nothing wrong with it.”
Chris Hemsworth, star of Thor and The Avengers, is to play fellow Formula One icon James Hunt in Rush, a biopic scheduled for release later in 2013.
And Sir Stirling felt that given he had spent his life “driving cars and chasing girls”, a similar kind of masculine actor would be appropriate.
Gay charities have spoken out against the comment, with Stonewall chief Ben Summerskill saying: “Rugby players like Gareth Thomas and brave gay people serving in Afghanistan might be better qualified to comment on masculinity than accomplished car driver Sir Stirling.”
"I’m sorry I’ve caused offence,” Moss clarified, “but I’m disappointed anyone could be so narrow-minded as to take offence. It was not meant to cause any,” he added.