Veteran star-ship captain William Shatner has apologised to the people of Ilfracombe after describing their town as a haven for hookers.
The interstellar adventurer recently took a break from vanquishing Klingons and boldly gadding about the galaxy to host an episode of Have I Got News For You, in which he mispronounced the Devon seaside resort’s name in a way that panellist Charlie Brooker found “deeply sexual.”
Seeing an opportunity to demonstrate his powers of improvisation, Shatner then asked the panel if they’d ever been to the town and said “the place is laced with prostitution.”
But despite Booker’s quip that Shatner’s comment “will be their slogan now”, an Ilfracombe councillor wrote a letter of complaint to the octogenarian's agent, reported The Telegraph .
“As Captain James T Kirk, Mr Shatner has been to places where no man has gone before,” began the aggrieved official.
“However, the episode of HIGNFY clearly shows he has never been to Ilfracombe. 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."
A shamed Shatner attempted to save face with a response to the councillor in which he quibbled over semantics, saying prostitution “commonly means sex for something of value."
"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.
"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," wrote the heavy-metal loving Enterprise captain, bringing the matter swiftly to an end.