Actor and presenter Stephen Fry has deleted his Twitter account following criticism over remarks he made while hosting this year’s Bafta awards.
Fry joked about costume designer Jenny Beavan, who collected the award for costume design for Mad Max: Fury Road, who was dressed casually in a leather jacket and black trousers.
He said: “Only one of the great cinematic costume designers would come to the awards ceremony dressed like a bag lady.”
He deleted his Twitter account today after an expletive-filled rant last night to the “sanctimonious f******” who had complained on the social media site about his comment.
Fry first explained it was a joke between friends, writing: “So just a word to the tragic figures who think calling Jenny Bevan a bag lady was an insult. She’s a dear friend and she got it. Derrr.”
He then followed up with angrier second tweet: “Will all you sanctimonious f****** f*** the f*** off Jenny Beavan is a friend and joshing is legitimate. Christ I want to leave the planet.”
Later Fry said he “doesn’t feel anything other than massive relief” and that he was “free at last”.
He posted an explanation on his official website in a piece titled Too Many People Have Peed in the Pool.
He wrote: “I like to believe I haven’t slammed the door, much less stalked off in a huff throwing my toys out of the pram as I go or however one should phrase it. It’s quite simple really: the room had started to smell. Really quite bad.”
It is the third time the QI host has removed himself from the social media site.
In 2014, he “took a break” from Twitter explaining that for safety purposes during filming he had been advised not to tweet. In 2015, he was off the site for five months, saying he was “taking a holiday from Twitter”.
Fry is not the only celebrity to pack in their social media presence and quit Twitter.
Here are other stars who have quit Twitter:
• Singer Iggy Azalea quit Twitter and Instagram early last year, telling her followers she was finding social media “negative and draining”. The singer, whose real name is Amethyst Amelia Kelly, faced a torrent of comments on Twitter over pictures of her in her bikini on holiday. She has since re-activated both of her accounts.
• In 2009, pop singer Miley Cyrus said goodbye to her more than two million Twitter followers. At the time she was dating Australian actor Liam Hemsworth and told her followers: “FYI Liam doesn’t have a twitter and he wants ME to delete mine with good reason.” She re-joined Twitter weeks later and split from Hemsworth in 2013. She has now amassed 26 million followers on Twitter.
• Former One Direction member Zayn Malik had fans in a frenzy when he temporarily quit Twitter in 2012. The singer, who recently launched his solo career, explained at the time: “The reason I don’t tweet as much as I use to, is because I’m sick of all the useless opinions and hate that I get daily goodbye twitter”.
• Spider-Man actor James Franco made a bold declaration in 2011 before he quit Twitter. Speaking at a charity do just hours before pulling the plug on his account, he’s quoted as saying: “Social media is over. Still up there. Going down. You heard it here first.” The former Oscars host allegedly quit because he upset corporate executives with some of his tweets.
• In June 2010, Scream Queens actress Emma Roberts felt the wrath of Twilight fans. She made the mistake of pledging her allegiance to actor Taylor Lautner, aka Jacob, from the Twilight franchise, over Robert Pattinson. Appearing on The Tonight Show alongside Pattinson, she admitted she was “Team Jacob”, to which Pattinson joked: “Well, you just revealed yourself to have absolutely no taste.” Within minutes, Twilight fans - or Twihards as they’re known - were inundating her Twitter timeline, forcing her to quit the site for a short time.