Friday 30 September 2016

Pundit pays 'penance' at Swan Lake

Published 26/02/2014 | 02:30

Neil Francis and Brenda Donoghue
Neil Francis and Brenda Donoghue

RUGBY pundit Neil Francis said he felt he was "paying his penance" for the controversial comments he made earlier this month, by attending Matthew Bourne's all-male production of 'Swan Lake'.

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He had suggested live on air on Newstalk radio that the percentage of gay people in professional sport was lower than in the general population.

"I'm here to review the show for Derek Mooney and 'The Mooney Show'. This is part of my penance," Francis told the Irish Independent at the Bord Gais Energy Theatre last night.

"I've turned up blank. I know very little about it . . . I am going in with an open mind. But I know it's an all-male cast and a radical staging."

But Francis said he 'doubted' he would become a ballet convert.

"It's unlikely, but I'm open to anything."

Francis apologised "unreservedly" for the comments he made on Newstalk 'Off The Ball'.

"Professional sport by its very nature does not promote . . . there are a wide range of people who are homosexual and the environment that they are in isn't something that they are really interested in," he said on air.

Irish Independent

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