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William Shatner has apologised to a Devon town for saying it was "laced with prostitution".

The 81-year-old star of Star Trek and Boston Legal made the allegation on the BBC show Have I Got News for You.

The comment happened as May as panellists on the show discussed the town as a venue in the Olympic torch relay.

When Shatner mispronounced the town's name, guest panellist Charlie Brooker remarked that he had made it sound "deeply sexual".

Shatner replied: "The place is laced with prostitution."

Former Mayor of Ilfracombe Paul Crabb emailed Shatner’s agents to invite the actor to the seaside town to show him "there is no prostitution in Ilfracombe".

Shatner replied: "My apologies for having singled out Ilfracombe as a potential haven for prostitution."

In an email signed "Bill", Shatner replied that prostitution "commonly means sex for something of value".

He added: "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 (CRABB) overseeing, I am sure that will not happen."

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William Shatner apologises for saying Ilfracombe 'laced with prostitution'
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