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Ian Thorpe: 'I'm not straight'

Channel Ten's airing of Ian Thorpe's interview with Sir Michael Parkinson ended years of speculation about the swimmer's sexuality.

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Radio and television host Joe Hildebrand has issued a series of sarcastic apologies after he was lashed on Twitter over his comments about Ian Thorpe's decision to come out as gay. 

Hildebrand tweeted his lack of surprise at the former swimmer's revelation during an interview with British talk show legend Michael Parkinson. 

"Good on Thorpey for coming out as gay. Although if he really wanted to shock people he should have said he was straight," Hildebrand tweeted on Sunday night. 

Ian Thorpe admits to being gay in an interview with Michael Parkinson.

Ian Thorpe admits to being gay in an interview with Michael Parkinson.

His next message said: "In all seriousness, Ian Thorpe coming out as gay might actually be the biggest breakthrough for gay acceptance Australia has ever seen."

But the Twitterverse was already taking Hildebrand to task, with many users claiming his comments were the kind that added to gay stigma. 

"Joe, I heard jokes like that as a teenager," writer Benjamin Law tweeted. "They f---ing hurt."

<i>Studio 10 </I>co-host Joe Hildebrand.

Studio 10 co-host Joe Hildebrand.

Many chose to parrot Hildebrand's own formula back to him. 

"If Joe Hildebrand really wanted to shock people he should have failed to act like a nauseating cretin," Crikey writer Bernard Keane wrote. 

Hildebrand, who hosts the Triple M drive show and Network Ten's Studio 10 program, later began to "apologise".

"APOLOGY: I am so sorry that apparently everyone on Twitter didn't know Thorpey was gay. Best wishes to your home planet," he began.

He followed that with another.

"APOLOGY: I apologise for my previous apology, which did not apologise enough for saying how good it was that Thorpey came out," he said. 

It did not end there. 

"APOLOGY: I apologise for my previous apology for my previous apology. I hereby retract that apology. I apologise for the second apology."

In the meantime Hildebrand compared the Thorpe story to a minor development on Channel Ten cooking show MasterChef.

"In equally groundbreaking news, Brent may have undercooked his duck."

At another point Hildebrand picked on the name of Triple J presenter Kyran Wheatley. 

"He [Thorpe] JUST said it was this sort of expectation that prevented him from coming out. How f--ing stupid are you?" Wheatley wrote.

Hildebrand, who has more than 56,000 Twitter followers, replied that he refused to be called stupid "by anyone called 'Kyran'."

The media personality has been criticised for making insincere apologies before, including the one he issued to domestic violence campaigner Rosie Batty, the mother of murdered 11-year-old Luke Batty.

Hildebrand had suggested women have a duty to leave violent relationships prior to an interview with Ms Batty

Becoming more self-referential again, Hildebrand issued another apology.
Becoming more self-referential again, Hildebrand issued another apology.

CORRECTION: An earlier version of this article stated that Joe Hildebrand had suggested women have a duty to leave violent relationships during an interview with Ms Batty. This was incorrect.