The ever charismatic punk icon Johnny Rotten, in town touring with his band Public Image Limited, has ruffled a few feathers over at Channel 10’s The Project following an interview that went to air last night (which you can view above).

The pre-recorded interview started off like any other but then took a turn for the worst when the former Sex Pistols frontman told presenter Carrie Bickmore to “shut up” when she attempted to ask a question.

Chiming in to get his thoughts on the recent passing of Margaret Thatcher, Bickmore was promptly told to pipe down. “Hey missus, shut up! Who ever you are shut up, shut up, shut up,” said John Lydon.

His less-than-delightful comments included, “when a man is talking do not interrupt” and “stop it you sound like one of them dreadful loud birds I don’t like,” as Bickmore tried to push on with her questioning. And it didn’t stop there. “Hey missus, shut up! Who ever you are shut up, shut up, shut up… when a man is talking do not interrupt!” – John Lydon

Clearly a man of high etiquette Lydon went on to say, “You’ve gotta learn what manners and respect is; I’m Johnny fucking Rotten and I’m telling you a truth.”

Taking the controversial man’s antics in their stride, Bickmore and the other presenters attempted to laugh it off and tried to salvage the interview, persevering with their questions. Yet Lydon, living up to his ‘Rotten’ stage name, was having none of it telling the whole panel that they were shouting like “excitable children”; continuing to say, “I understand, you know, ’cause you’re talking to, you know, a proper master of the universe here.”

Given the first half of the interview went off without a hitch and none of the presenters had raised their voices when it turned sour, it’s hard to believe that there was any issue with the sound to validate Rotten’s claims. But all this surely was just Rotten being, well, Rotten.

As frontman to the legendary Sex Pistols during the punk movement in the 70s, it should come as no surprise that the punk icon likes to stir up some controversy. Rotten has been a divisive figure over the years and as the star of Country Life butter’s ads, one might be forgiven for thinking that the sometime anarchist had mellowed in recent times.

Following the airing of the pre-recorded interview last night, co-host Andrew Rochford jumped to Bickmore’s defence labelling the outspoken punk pioneer a “flat out sexist, misogynist pig”.

Presenters Dave Hughes and Bickmore took to Twitter to voice their disgust as plenty of others tweeted their two cents on the bizarre interview.

The Country Life butter spokesman and punk legend bit back at the media at the first PiL Australian show in Brisbane last night greeting the crowd with, “Hello, Brisbane. My name is John. I can talk to anyone except Australian TV presenters. What a pack of cunts.”

Public Image Limited are making their return to our shores for the first time in 20 years to showcase tracks from their critically acclaimed new album This Is PiL, their first in two decades. The tour sees them play three shows along the East coast, playing to crowds in Brisbane and Sydney before finishing up at Melbourne’s Palace Theatre.

Formed in 1978 and widely regarded as one of the most innovative and influential bands of all time, PiL’s music and vision have earned them five UK Top 20 singles and five UK Top 20 albums. Frontman Lydon resurrected PiL in 2009 after a 17 year hiatus.

PiL 2013 Australian Tour

Tuesday 9 April – Hi Fi, Brisbane 18+
Tickets from Oztix on 1300 762 545 /
With We Set Sail

Wednesday 10 April – Enmore Theatre, Sydney LIC AA
Tickets from Ticketek on 132 849 /
With Death Mattel

Thursday 11 April – Palace Theatre, Melbourne 18+
Tickets from Ticketek on 132 849 /
With Harmony

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