There were red faces at the Miss Universe competition in Las Vegas on Sunday night after host Steve Harvey accidentally announced the winner as diminutive funny-man Ronnie Corbett.
After the error was revealed, a disappointed Corbett surrendered the crown to Miss Philippines Pia Alonzo Wurtzbach.
“I’ll be honest, I was surprised when Steve announced my name,” said Mr Corbett.
“What with not being in the competition and being several thousand miles away in South London, but I was also genuinely thrilled.”
Whilst Mr Corbett has been hailed for his comedy work throughout his career, it would have been the first time he had triumphed in a beauty pageant.
“It was a shame to give up the crown to Miss Wurtzbach, but I suspect that if it came down to a head-to-head swimsuit round, she would, indeed, triumph – so I wish her well.”
There was shock and disbelief online after the incident.
“Ronnie Corbett!” exclaimed fan of watching beautiful women parade around in very little for his entertainment, Simon Williams.
“All respect to him. I mean, he was hilarious in ‘Sorry!’ but I simply just don’t fancy him.”
The Miss Universe gaffe was compounded by host Steve Harvey going on to accidentally announce the winner as Vinnie Jones, Joan Bakewell, the Incredible Hulk and Papa Smurf, before finally announcing Miss Wurtzbach’s name.