Steve Punt and Hugh Dennis, speaking days after Jackson had announced his comeback tour at the O2 Arena, said on Radio 4's 'Now Show': "I can't decide which '80s celebrities I want back less. Michael Jackson or the IRA".
The BBC website reportedly compounded the insult by saying on their website: “Steve Punt and Hugh Dennis discuss the return to Britain of undesirables, from Michael Jackson to the IRA.
Mr P O'Neill, of the Irish Republican Publicity Bureau, said that members of the Real IRA and Continuity IRA, who shot back to prominence last week with a series of pointless, brutal shootings, were horrified when they heard about the joke.
He added, "we were told about the comments and we're appalled. It is a disgusting slur. To be compared to a surgery-addicted, alleged kiddy-fiddling loon is not funny, it is highly offensive". It is believed that a formal complaint has been made to the BBC, and that members of the Real IRA are seeking a public apology from Punt and Dennis.
The 'Real IRA comeback tour' has not been as successful as its members had hoped, mainly because nobody's interested in their act any more. Additionally, the performers in their recent gig at Massareene Army Base were so unpopular (especially with the Provisional IRA) that they have had to go into hiding. Hopefully at the bottom of the Liffey.
Michael Jackson was unavailable for comment, as he was busy blowing Bubbles.