back to article William Shatner confirms Devon town actually prostitute free

William Shatner has apologised to the burghers of Ilfracombe for claiming, on national TV, that the Devon seaside town is a hotbed of prostitution. However, Shatner undermined the earnestness of his apology by insisting someone must be having sex in the resort for "something of value", the Daily Mail reports. The erstwhile …


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  1. david 63

    A quick google...

    ...tends to suggest Ilfracombe is indeed a lust-desert.

    Lots of Ford Escorts for sale though.

    1. Hieronymus Howerd

      Re: A quick google...

      I guess people go elsewhere to get their "lust desserts" then.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Why they keep having race drivers flog watches or tennis players selling cologne is beyond me. Exactly what does a footy player know of the inner workings of an Aston Martin? Now we have a C list actor making inaccurate off-the-cuff comments on things he knows little, if anything of. The mind boggles.

    Stick to what you call acting Mr. Shatner and leave the social commentary to those who actually know what they are talking about.

    1. Severen


      Look up.

      See that?

      That's humour, that is, going way above your head. ;-)

    2. Dave 126 Silver badge

      > inaccurate off-the-cuff comments on things he knows little, if anything of.

      It was a joke. The whole point was that everyone knew that Shatner had never been to Ilfracombe, prompted as it was by his mispronunciation of the town's name. It was not a attempt at social commentary, FFS. A joke. Mr Shatner was not above making jokes at his own expense, and generally came across very well.

      1. ravenviz

        I combe in peace, shoot to kill!

      2. Haku

        "Mr Shatner was not above making jokes at his own expense"

        Definitely, just watch his Comedy Roast (only the first 18 mins sadly)

        1. Dave 126 Silver badge

          Re: "Mr Shatner was not above making jokes at his own expense"

          Jeebus! George Takei... Strewth! True what they say about watching out for the quiet ones! Heck.

          The link in the above post definitely needs a NSFW tag, unless you work in an all-night sauna!

          1. Haku

            Re: "Mr Shatner was not above making jokes at his own expense"

            Ah, yeah, sorry about that I forgot just how racy the roasts can get :)

            The full roast is an hour longer and very funny.

          2. Greg J Preece

            Re: "Mr Shatner was not above making jokes at his own expense"

            "Jeebus! George Takei... Strewth!"

            Apparently our good Takei is *not* Shatner's biggest fan. That might have something to do with it.

            1. Random Handle

              Re: "Mr Shatner was not above making jokes at his own expense"

              >Apparently our good Takei is *not* Shatner's biggest fan

              They're very good friends actually. Probably hard to be Shatner's biggest fan - and whoever it is, is way beyond scary.

    3. Cosmo

      It's alright Mr. Crabb - We know who you are

  3. Thomas 4


    You must meet the most interesting sources when you work for El Reg.

  4. adamgarretty

    An opportunity for a tourism venture with national exposure has just been apologised away there.

  5. Anonymous John


    I've booked a holiday there in August.

    1. TeeCee Gold badge

      Re: Bu**er

      Best take an ipad with you to give yourself something to do[1] then.

      [1] See what I did there?

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Dear Mr Crabb...

    Great name for a seaside councillor.

    Love the "with you in charge" reply.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Dear Mr Crabb...

      Great name for an expert on the availability of prostitutes.

  7. David Webb

    I live in Cornwall and it's true, we have no prostitutes, mainly because sheep don't charge.

    1. Anonymous John

      I thought that was Wales.

      1. Dave 126 Silver badge

        N Devon - similar landscape to Wales, but the beer is better. I don't know- or care- what punternet says about Swansea.

        1. David Webb

          I lived in Devon (Plymouth) and was born in Wales (but now live in Cornwall as I said before). I'm beginning to see a pattern forming.......

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            I like your style of chronological ambiguity... I read that as: you lived in Devon before being born in Wales. Way to confuse a midwife!

  8. JimmyPage

    Can we knight the Shat ?

    IMHO this line is almost Wildean ...

    "In any event," he continued, "my apologies for having singled out Ilfracombe as a potential haven for prostitution. With you overseeing, I am sure that will not happen."

    1. Dave 126 Silver badge

      Re: Can we knight the Shat ?

      Can we knight the Shat?

      Yes and no - Canadians can be knighted, but they don't tend to be because of the Nicle Resolution. However, he has played a part in a show that attempted to envisage a better future world (by fighting and copping off with aliens)

      1. JimmyPage
        Thumb Up

        Re: Can we knight the Shat ?

        Thank you, for my interesting fact of the day. I was starting to wonder about honoured Canadians.

        Anyway, honour or not, William Shatner is legend ... check out Henry Rollins tales of jamming with the Shat.

        1. Dave 126 Silver badge

          Re: Can we knight the Shat ?

          Or indeed the time the Shat rolled up into a WWF match in the mid-nineties - I know it's choreographed, but he was hardly a young man even then!

          Oh, and the Shatner version of 'Common People' is superb, though he delegates the chorus to Joe Jackson.

          1. CADmonkey

            RE: Shatner version of 'Common People' is superb

            It's not bad, but still messes up the timing on the line "..but she didn't..........understand" just like every other cover of that song. The forrins just always seem to miss the humour in that line, shame.

            That said, Sir Shat woz aces on HIGNFY!

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I tried to find a knock-shop in Newquay whilst on holiday one summer,...

    there were none. Which tells me "if you can't get laid in newquay in summer, you don't deserve to be".

    1. MJI Silver badge

      Re: I tried to find a knock-shop in Newquay whilst on holiday one summer,...

      Only time I stayed overnight there I was sorted!!!!

      20 years ago now - scarey

      BTW married her!

  10. Alan Bourke

    Has the esteemed councillor

    nothing better to be fucking doing?

    I saw the HIGNFY in question - only a loon would have taken Shatner's quote seriously.

    1. Dave 126 Silver badge

      Re: Has the esteemed councillor

      Town councillor posts don't attract the best talent, though if you are lucky you will have a human being or two amongst them. One mate of mine wrote to our town council, just to enquire into the process of becoming a councillor of of curiousity... they wrote back offering him the role!

      Before a rather good woman joined our council, their argument for not reserving space for a skate-park was: "Skate parks attract young people. A group of young people would attract drug dealers. Drugs are bad, m'kay?" Never mind that young people here took drugs because there was fluff-all else to do...

    2. Velv

      Re: Has the esteemed councillor

      He's got people talking about Ilfracombe, and there are certain types of tourist who would like to go to a Devon seaside resort safe in the knowledge it isn't a seedy sideshow town. I'd say he's earned his corn this week (if not his oats).

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Punternet only provides reviews,.... provides lists of actual services.

    Nothing in McCoys Guide (2007) for Ilfracombe, or for Barnstaple which is the next nearest train station.

    1. Dave 126 Silver badge

      Re: Punternet only provides reviews,....

      The best pasties in the South West come from East West Bakery on Butcher's Row, Barnstaple... a sensual pleasure of a different kind.

      [ Sorry if this post violates El Reg's spamming policy, but they are tasty]

      1. TRT Silver badge

        Re: Punternet only provides reviews,....

        There's nothing finer than a seaside cafe meal of beans, sausage, egg, fried bread, frittered spiced pork and ham, and bacon. Or there's...

        *definite infringement there!*

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Punternet only provides reviews,....

      Good to see someone combining their hobbies - shagging prostitutes, and train-spotting

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Punternet only provides reviews,....

        Well, it passes the time.

        Actually, we pass around McCoys guide at work (all guy section) and I comment on the local ones pictured (the other guys are all married) and rate them (thats a T, not a P!). Hacks them off something wicked!

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Adult Work shows 229 ladies of the night for Devon and while Ilfracombe is not specifically listed as a location several offer services over the whole of Devon. So Mr Shatner was more accurate than Mr Crabb.

    1. Dave 126 Silver badge

      Devon wide?

      That's what Viz would call your 'Carbon Cock Print' - CO2 released by travelling on a promise.

  13. Aaron Em

    "If he came we could show him"

    You could, eh? Phwoar! They don't need whores in I'll-fuck-'em!

    1. Dave 126 Silver badge

      Re: "If he came we could show him"

      That's worse than "Felixstow, I'll shag him!" for the lady foot fetishists out there!

  14. Sarah Davis

    no apology needed !!

    anyone who took Bill's comments seriously is far to stupid to have their opinion considered. It was said on a long running satirical comedy show, and in context could not possibly be offensive to anyone with a brain. Any council member who thought this required an official apology should be fired.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Well if you do an Adult Work postcode search on EX34, there are at least 2 ladies.

    Captain Kirk can't find the ladies!

  16. Ian Johnston Silver badge


    Is that the past tense of "Cleveland steamer"?

  17. sisk

    Shatner reportedly emailed him back saying that prostitution meant "sex for something of value" and that "I would be hard pressed to believe that sex was not being had in Ilfracombe for something of value, perhaps a lengthy marriage...."

    Did Shatner just suggest that having sex with your spouse is prostitution? Please tell me that I'm misunderstanding the statement. By this logic having sex to acheive an orgasm would be prostitution.

    1. David Webb

      Try this, get married and on your way home from work pop into a shoe store and buy your wife a pair of expensive designer high heels. Bet you £25 you'll be getting some that night....

      1. perlcat

        You're inefficient.

        I just tell her: "I think that you don't have enough shoes."

        I get nookie, and the shopping problem solves itself. (It was going to solve itself anyway -- no shoe you'd buy would ever be adequate -- even if she bought the exact same shoe you would.)

        The "You must've lost weight -- why don't you buy new pants" also works well.

  18. Nev Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    Brilliant Stuff

    One of the better recent HIGNFY episodes.

    Shatner in later-day comic mode is a great character.

  19. Delbert

    Tourist Information

    Bill did a great service to Ilfracombe his off the cuff comment was obviously a joke and one that the Burghers of the town should enjoy and share I reckon a free holiday is in order to further boost the brand.

  20. Bradley Hardleigh-Hadderchance

    If you only knew...

    ..what really goes on in Ilfracombe.

    My lips are sealed, but I will say, it is some pretty sick shit.

    On another note:

    Did you know that on a clear day, looking out from Swansea bay, one can see Ilfracombe quite clearly on the horizon? Around 20 - 30 miles away. Pre Google maps we thought this was the quaintest thing.

    Of course, thankfully, we couldn't see what was 'really' going on.

    Thank god.

  21. Volker Hett

    If there's no prostitution

    then why, and how, should he come?

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Maybe no prostitutes but..

    Ilfracomba is known as filthfracombe by a lot of people in the area for it's apparently higher than normal population of junkies.

  23. Anonymous Coward

    Last time Shatner was involved in something like this he cheated

    The last time Shatner was involved about something that wasn't there when somebody said it was and said hello, he wen't back in time, got some whales and dumped them at the location the other person said they were at. Given this and the history of the UK, at some point in time he could of very well been correct and with this - be warned, he does cheat.

    1. Jerome 0

      Re: Last time Shatner was involved in something like this he cheated

      While every word of your post made sense on its own, it's hard to determine much meaning from the order in which you've arranged them. Having said that, I'm pretty sure there's a reference to Star Trek 4 in there somewhere.

  24. Gareth Perch
    Thumb Up

    Denny Crane.

  25. Tegne
    Paris Hilton

    Not according to a postcode search on a well-known UK Escorting site.

    There's at least a few working right out of the town.

  26. Snafu 2

    Sorry (started posting 0042 BST) I know I'm gonna be downvoted for this

    I wacthed all of this episode in the XT format (so an extra 10-15 mins) & I foud Bill's performance execrable :( Ham acting, yes; self-parody, yes; but he came across as drunk (poss true - dunno) and/or stoned to me :(

    I've seen him before in other shows & his performance was excellent, with just the right touches of above to make it work. For me this above shows his timing is going.. not generally a serious problem with (known) actors but very serious when combined with self-parody & comedy :(

    If he's stil as good as I hope he is he should let up on the




    so serious

    pauses a

    bit - he's overdoing them more than necessary for self-parody

    Humph (Humphrey Lyttelton) worked this very well in ISIHAC due to his obvious age (including frequently 'falling asleep'), but it doesn't work so well on TV or nowadays even on radio :(

    (Forget the materiel; that's mostly provided by scriptwriters & autocue anyway, another thing I may vent my splen* upon later)

    *splen - a much maligned version of spleen. It isn't used much nowadays due to the invention of spelling checkers. Due to this it tends to be much nastier, as it's fighting for survival!

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