JOHN Lydon is no stranger to shocking television appearances, but the former Sex Pistol provoked fury by ordering a female host to "shut up when a man is talking".

The 57-year-old was branded a "sexist, misogynist pig" after his appearance on the Australian talk show The Project on Channel Ten.

Lydon, who is touring the country with his band Public Image Limited,  launched a verbal attack at the female anchor, Carrie Bickmore, when she cut in with a question about the death of Baroness Thatcher, before turning his ire on the rest of the panel.

After a benign start in which the punk rocker insisted "I don't seek trouble", he turned the audience against him with a series of sexist comments. 

He called Ms Bickmore "eh missus" and aggressively told her to "shut up", claiming she had interrupted him. "When a man is talking, do not interrupt," he said.

The awkward laughter gave way to stunned silence as she protested and Lydon, 57, went on: "Stop it. You sound like one of them dreadful loud birds I don't like."

After Lydon was accused of being offensive, he told Bickmore: "So are you when you do that. You have to learn what manners and respect is."

Adopting a patronising tone, Lydon, also known as Johnny Rotten, said she was not allowed to ask a question because "your voice is too loud". He also threw a mock Nazi salute.

After the interview finished, Bickmore described Lydon as "damn rude".

Another presenter, Andrew Rochford, added: "He was a flat-out sexist, misogynist pig."

The singer's comments attracted condemnation in Australia yesterday, but Lydon hit back, saying: "It's quite clear to me I'm not a sexist and I'm not a misogynist."  

He said that if someone interrupts "you are going to have to say something at some point, whether it be male or female".