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Barry Humphries' rep insists Chinese comment was a joke

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Oct 15, 2012 | 5:00am EDT

The comic, famed for his drag performances as Dame Edna Everage, caused a storm of controversy Down Under after insisting his wife Lizzie Spender, who is British, has "the right-shaped eyes" to settle in Australia, a comment aimed at the large amount of Asian immigrants who live in the country.

After Spender became an Aussie at a ceremony in London last week (ends14Oct12), Humphries told reporters, "She's a lot more Australian than our Prime Minister Julia Gillard, who is a 10 pound Pom (British immigrant) with an Adelaide accent.

"At least my wife came to our country voluntarily and not against her wishes. She has the right-shaped eyes. A lot of new Australians are Chinese."

Following criticism of his remarks, a representative for the star insists the comedian was making a joke, and meant no offence.

The spokesperson says, "He would never want to offend anybody... a lot of what Barry says to the press is in jest."

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