JOHN Lydon, the former Sex Pistols frontman, has been described as a “flat-out sexist, misogynist pig” after an astonishing verbal assault on an Australian TV presenter live on air.
Lydon, better known by his stage name Johnny Rotten, repeatedly told Carrie Bickmore, panellist on Channel Ten’s entertainment news show The Project to “shut up” and not to interrupt “when a man is talking”.
He then proceeded to describe the entire panel as “excitable children”, and himself as “a proper master of the Universe” – at which point he appeared to make a Fascist salute.
The outburst came three minutes into an interview that, up till then, had been going well, with Lydon talking about his new band Public Image Ltd, who kicked off their Australian tour in Brisbane last night.
However, when Bickmore asked him how he felt about the death of Margaret Thatcher, he angrily retorted: “Hey, hey Mrs, shut up, whoever you are, shut up, shut up, shut up. Now listen, when a man is talking do not interrupt.”
Bickmore said she had not meant to interrupt, but Lydon continued: “Stop it, you sound like one of them dreadful loud birds I don’t like.” Bickmore told him his comments were “really offensive”, to which Lydon replied: “So are you.”
He then refused to answer questions from Bickmore telling her: “you need to be quiet, your voice is too loud for me.”
When guest presenter Dr Andrew Rochford asked him whether “this was a girl thing” or whether male panellists could speak to him, Lydon appeared to back-track and told them they were all speaking to loudly – suggesting they had become too excited at speaking to him.
Finally answering the question about the death of Margaret Thatcher he said: “Yes, Big Bird is dead. So what?”
Co-presenter Dave Hughes shut down the interview prematurely, but Rotten continued to berate the hosts for shouting, telling them “I do that better than you”.
After the interview Bickmore told the audience: “I went with it at first because bad press is his thing, but his thing ain’t funny and it’s damn rude.” Rochford went on to describe Lydon as a “flat-out sexist, misogynist pig”.