William Shatner has apologised to the burghers of Ilfracombe for claiming, on national TV, that the Devon seaside town is a hotbed of prostitution.
However, Shatner undermined the earnestness of his apology by insisting someone must be having sex in the resort for "something of value", the Daily Mail reports.
The erstwhile Captain Kirk, who also had a stint playing a cop by the name of TJ Hooker, made the claim while hosting Have I Got News for You last month.
While referring to the arrival of the Olympic torch in Ilfracombe, he mispronounced the town's name, in what fellow guest Charlie Brooker suggested was a "deeply sexual manner".
Shatner, who is also famed for his theatrical reinterpretations of popular beat music, then quipped that the town "is laced with prostitution" prompting show regular Paul Merton to add "You try and buy a stick of rock there."
However, the slur on the town prompted local councillor Paul Crabb to write to Shatner, to invite him to the town, presumably to demonstrate that it is indeed hooker-free, if not Hooker free.
"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," Crabb declared.
Shatner reportedly emailed him back saying that prostitution meant "sex for something of value" and that "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," he continued, "my apologies for having singled out Ilfracombe as a potential haven for prostitution. With you overseeing, I am sure that will not happen."
A cursory glance at prostitute rating site Punternet shows no entries for Ilfracombe, and indeed just five entries for the whole of Devon. This compares to none for the whole of neighbouring Cornwall, while South London merits 501 entries and Stoke on Trent, 358.
One knowledgeable Register source confirmed that Ilfracombe is indeed prostitute free, but full of "dodgy brummies and scousers who are too dodgy for Liverpool". He added the "toilets up on Oxford Grove" had been shut down because of immoral activity.
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