Sir Ronald Harwood clarifies comments about BBC drama The Dresser
Writer Sir Ronald Harwood has spoken out about comments made at a special screening of the new BBC drama The Dresser.
The small screen adaptation of his famous 1980 play made headlines following its unveiling at the British Film Institute.
Harwood said: "The truth is that for a lifetime I've been burdened by my wit and intellect and while it doesn't always translate in print in our British press, it has served me well in many other ways, driving a 50-year career.
"Please let me clarify any misconceptions that may have been wrongly reported today."
He was referring to reports that he told the audience he was "happy-ish" with the final version of the show.
The Telegraph quoted him as saying: "What I was keen on was it being revived in the theatre. And with Anthony Hopkins and Ian McKellen I thought that would be good.
"But it didn't happen that way, and then they put pressure on me, and I thought 'oh screw it'."
The successful author, playwright and screenwriter said: " I am honoured to have watched my friends, Anthony Hopkins and Ian McKellen, deliver a masterclass in acting in Richard Eyre's majestic production of The Dresser, a play of mine which I hold dear for a number of personal and professional reasons.
"The true glory of this BBC production is that it has brought together on screen a dream cast that sadly one would never be able to see on stage.
"And while my sarcasm was taken out of context at the BFI screening on Wednesday night, please let me say simply and clearly, I'm extraordinarily proud of Richard's glorious adaptation of my play and am very grateful for the BBC's support of my work."
He also said he hopes in future that his "sly smile on delivery and roaring laughter from the audience" would lead the press to better recognise his sense of humour.
The Dresser airs on BBC Two on October 31.