Oliver, a long-time reporter for the satirical show, was filming this week Down Under and described it in the podcast The Bugle as a “coastal paradise surrounding a rocky hell”.

“Australia turns out to be a sensational place, albeit one of the most comfortably racist places I’ve ever been in,” Oliver joked, sort of.

“They’ve really settled into their intolerance like an old resentful slipper.”

“You can say what you like about Australian racism, it is undeniably specific. I had a couple of Australians – more than one – complain to me about all the Lebbos in the country, referring apparently to the Lebanese. Who the fuck is annoyed by Lebanese people?

“In a way you have to admire the attention to detail. Not just all those Arabs, but the Lebanese.”

Oliver did say nice things about the country, too, asking the question of so many Brits before him.

“Australia is a sensational place and it really begs the question: why the fuck did we make that our penal colony when it’s nicer than where we live? We should have said to criminals at the time ‘you’re all staying here, we’re off to go live in paradise’.”

Oliver will soon take over as host of The Daily Show while its creator Jon Stewart directs a film.

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