'Tasteless' Gervais answers Golden Globe critics

Ricky Gervais has defended delivering a string of acerbic put-downs while hosting the Golden Globes.

The star, 49, has been criticised for making near-the-knuckle jokes at the expense of shocked Hollywood A-listers in the audience.

Gervais took to his blog yesterday to deny reports that he was reprimanded by ceremony organisers. The British comic said he made better jokes this year than at last year's glittering event.

The comedian, who sparked speculation that he was told off by organisers when he disappeared during the ceremony, added: "Obviously the rumour that the organisers stopped me going out on stage for an hour is rubbish."

Gervais said: "I did every link I was scheduled to do. The reason why the gaps were uneven is because when I got the rundown I was allowed to choose who I presented to."

The star took a swipe at Sir Paul's ex-wife Heather Mills during the awards and after introducing Tim Allen and Tom Hanks, the pair said: "We recall when Ricky Gervais was a slightly chubby but very kind comedian ... neither of which is he now."

Alec Baldwin was seen wiping a tear from his eye at the wisecracks, while Robert De Niro, who was handed a lifetime achievement award, dissolved in laughter.

But the New York Daily News called Gervais "tasteless, bordering on nasty". Hollywood Foreign Press Association president Philip Berk, who heads the group responsible for the ceremony, told The Hollywood Reporter: "He definitely crossed the line."