Stephen Fry says he is "astonished" at the backlash over his comments about God though is pleased that it sparked debate on Twitter. During an interview on Irish television, Fry was asked what he would say if ever confronted by God.

Stephen FryStephen Fry says he was pleased that his comments sparked debate

"I'd say, bone cancer in children? What's that about?" Fry replied. "How dare you? How dare you create a world to which there is such misery that is not our fault. It's not right, it's utterly, utterly evil."

Fry's remarks were heavily criticised in religious circles, not least by Ireland's Presbyterian Church, Rev Ian McNie, who branded him "spiritually blind."

"I felt sorry for the man that his understanding of life is simply confined to the here and now and from his position of atheism there is no hope for the future," McNie said.

More: Stephen Fry calls God "utterly monstrous and evil" on Irish TV

Speaking about his backlash on the BBC Radio 4's Today Show, Fry apologised for causing offense.

"I don't think I mentioned once any certain religion, and I certainly didn't intend, and I know I didn't, to say anything offensive towards any particular religion," he said. "I said quite a few things that were angry at this supposed God. I was merely saying things that Bertrand Russell and many finer heads of the mind have said for many thousands of years, going all the way back to the Greeks.

"I am astonished that it has caused so viral an explosion on Twitter and elsewhere. I'm most pleased that it's got people talking. I'd never wish to offend anybody who is individually devout or pious and goes about their religious ways, and indeed many Christians have been in touch with me and said that they're very grateful that things have been talked about."

Stephen Fry will present the BAFTA awards on Sunday (February 8), just weeks after marrying his partner, the writer Elliot Spencer.

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