James Bond star George Lazenby apologises for offensive and homophobic comments in live show

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James Bond star George Lazenby  in 2019 and 1969
James Bond star George Lazenby has said he did not mean to make homophobic comments. (Getty Images)

James Bond star George Lazenby has apologised for making "hurtful" and "homophobic comments" during a live show of music from the 007 franchise.

The 83-year-old actor has been axed from further performances of The Music of James Bond with George Lazenby in Australia following offensive remarks he made on the evening of Saturday 10 September at Perth Concert Hall.

Lazenby - who played the secret agent in 1969's On Her Majesty's Secret Service - said in a statement on Twitter: "I am sorry and saddened to hear that my stories in Perth on Saturday might have offended some people. It was never my intention to make hurtful or homophobic comments and I am truly sorry if my stories that I have shared many times were taken that way. I only ever wish to share."

The Australian actor was accused of being homophobic, disrespectful to women with offensive tales of his sexual conquests, using bad language and not showing adequate respect regarding the death of Queen Elizabeth II.

Read more: James Bond actors who hated being in 007 films

One audience member told Australian radio network 6PR: "He spent all of the interview just talking about basically his sexual conquests, he was homophobic, he swore, he certainly wasn’t talking about his Bond movies, he downplayed the Queen a day after she died.

“It was absolutely unbelievable … at one point he named an Australian cricketer whose daughter he was chasing and he said he dragged the daughter out of the pub and put her in the car in London, which again is of course horrific.

George Lazenby as James Bond in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service. (Picture credit: MGM-UA)
George Lazenby as James Bond in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service. (Picture credit: MGM-UA)

“He named women who he had slept with, and there were children in the audience.

“There were a lot families who had brought their kids probably to their first ever classical music concert.

“It wasn’t even charming, it wasn’t even funny. It was creepy, it was offensive … it was absolutely horrific behaviour.”

Organisers of the show have now dropped him from the next performance in Melbourne.

The WA Symphony Orchestra, who were also performing at the event said in a statement: “Mr Lazenby’s recollections were personal views and they are totally unacceptable.

“His views are not shared or endorsed by WASO or Perth Concert Hall.

“We thank performers Bonnie Anderson and Luke Kennedy, conductor Nicholas Buc and the WASO musicians for their professionalism.”

George Lazenby in 2018. (Getty Images)
George Lazenby in 2018. (Getty Images)

Concertworks, who organised the event said: “These were his personal views and there is no excuse for this in today’s society.

“They do not reflect the views of Concertworks. On behalf of Concertworks, we sincerely apologise to the audience, performers, conductor, WASO and the Perth Concert Hall.

“Concertworks denounces Mr Lazenby’s conduct and the final Music of James Bond concert in Melbourne will proceed without Mr Lazenby in attendance.”

Lazenby played James Bond only once, in 1969's On Her Majesty's Secret Service, co-starring Dame Diana Rigg.

George Lazenby with Dame Diana Rigg at the premiere of On Her Majesty's Secret Servicein 1969. (Getty Images)
George Lazenby with Dame Diana Rigg at the premiere of On Her Majesty's Secret Servicein 1969. (Getty Images)

He was cast in the role after the late Sir Sean Connery stepped down following You Only Live Twice, but was replaced by a returning Connery in Diamonds Are Forever, before Sir Roger Moore took over the role from 1973's Live and Let Die.

Read more: George Lazenby responds to his James Bond film being named the best ever

Lazenby told Yahoo in 2021 he was unsurprised his film had topped a poll to name the best Bond film ever.

He said: "Over the years, it's aged like a fine wine, a bit like me."

Watch: James Bond producers are searching for a very specific kind of actor to play 007 next