Bono calls Chris Martin a ‘wanker’ & a ‘cretin’

Before U2 performed at a “standstill” roof-top concert on Friday in London, Bono sat down with Radio 1 for a live interview. Apparently less than two minutes into the interview, Bono got a question about Chris Martin, something about did Bono think Martin was as good a musician as Sir Paul McCartney. Bono then called Martin a “wanker”, then later in the interview he called Martin a “cretin”. The radio host immediately asked Bono to apologize, because apparently “wanker” is one of those words that seems to get censored in England… I think. The Daily Mirror censored it with a “w****r” which seems like overkill. It’s not like Bono called Chris Martin an a**face. E! Online has more:

Forget U2’s new single “Get on Your Boots,” Bono seems more interested in putting on his boxing gloves.

In a radio interview promoting U2’s new CD, No Line on the Horizon, which drops this week, Bono also dropped a couple of verbal bombs on Coldplay frontman Chris Martin.

Asked by BBC Radio 1 deejay Jo Whiley if Martin was as talented as Paul McCartney, Bono seemed to rankle.

“I think he’s that good a melodist, but he’s a wanker,” was Bono’s reply.

Whiley reportedly asked Bono for an apology, but the singer responded, “I’m a reformed character, I don’t any more.”

And far from apologizing, Bono added that Martin was “obviously a completely dysfunctional character and a cretin, but he happens to be a great melodist and up there with Ray Davies, Noel Gallagher and Paul McCartney.”

Later in the interview, Bono tried to paper over the damage a bit by saying, “I think [Coldplay] are a great band and, actually, it turns out [Martin’s] a great soul as well. Sorry about that. I was just joking entirely.”

If those are the jokes, Bono, please do not attempt to do standup comedy. We have a feeling there might be a wee bit of heckling coming from Chris Martin’s direction.

From E! Online

Of course Bono was joking entirely. Because who would call Chris Martin a wanker and mean it? There’s some on-going debate about whether Bono really did mean all of it, then simply thought better of it. The Daily Mirror reports that after the interview and Bono’s forced apology, “A BBC spokesman said later: ‘An on-air apology was made immediately for the language used during the live broadcast. We apologise for any offence caused.’” Now I’m totally stuck on this idea that calling someone a wanker is one of the dirtiest things you can call somebody. This is what censorship leads to – the forbidden fruit of “wanker”.

As for the matter of whether or not Chris Martin really is a wanker, a cretin or a “completely dysfunctional character” (classy!), maybe he is. If Bono says it, it must be the truth. Thus speaketh The Gospel of Bono – yea, and call out all thee wankers.

photo credit: PRPhotos

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32 Responses to “Bono calls Chris Martin a ‘wanker’ & a ‘cretin’”

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  1. lady garden says:

    Pot, kettle, black

  2. Ash says:

    Wow…that “joking” statement seemed totally insincere. That wasn’t too nice there Bono.

  3. heima says:

    I completely agree with Bono when he calls Chris Martin this way… but unfortunately I’m sure he was really joking ’cause him and that wanker are friends…

  4. Michele says:

    For once I agree with Bono

  5. anna says:

    I call Chris Marin a wanker, a tosser, bollock breath AND a pox, just for good measure.

    Or is that his wife I’m talking about?

  6. geronimo says:

    I’m confused by your take on this, kaiser!

    I heard the interview and the wanker supreme here is Bono, not Martin. Martin may be a pretentious arse but he doesn’t abuse airtime calling other musicians wankers. Jo Whiley was disgusted with him which is why she apologised on his behalf, not just because of the word ‘wanker’. This is what happens when you give unprecedented advertising airtime on BBC radio and tv to a wanker. What a knob.

  7. Kaiser says:

    G – I think they’re both wankers, but I found Bono’s comments funny (probably not in the way he meant them, though). I just had a giggle at the way the word “wanker” was being censored.


  8. lisa says:

    Well, he is right. Chris Martin is a wanker.

  9. geronimo says:

    K – if Bono wasn’t such a wanker himself (and he really is for a multitude of reasons), I’d probably have found it funnier. I’m ZOMG biased. 😛

  10. Lila says:

    seems out of character for Bono to criticize a mate. prob was joking but well he’s right.

  11. Tony says:

    People take themselves too seriously.

  12. Zoe says:

    He IS a wanker. He’s a totally masturbatory poser (Gwennie, is headed that way, if not already arrived).

    Yeah, Bono is a kind of a Christ wannabe, but at least he’s done some GOOD in the world.

    What’s Martin ever done but insist on sticking some goofy tape on his fingers, be rude in interviews and put out some derived self-contratulatory “music” ?

  13. Feebee says:

    I don’t know if he’s a wanker or not, but I do love the word ‘cretin’. Why is Bono being asked about Chris Cretin Martin? And I really don’t get an interviewer asking for an apology. There something screwy going on or maybe I don’t know a backstory?…

    Surprised that the UK press have to censor the word ‘wanker’ given it’s prevalence.

  14. yasmin says:

    Okaaay. Just cos you do your bit for charities / world causes does not mean you get to call out other people. It seems (to me — i don’t pay that much attention to bono though) that he spends a great deal of time trying to be seen as this humanitarian ‘good samaritan’, full of dignity type… and then he goes and says things like that? Only makes Bono look bad. Although I am not disagreeing – I dont like Chris, but still.

  15. anastasiabeaverhausen says:

    Martin IS a wanker. So Bono is right. Martin is also a douchenozzle.

  16. RAN says:

    Wanker is my new favorite cuss word. From now on… everyone who used to be a b1tch or mofo can now be a wanker. Cleans up my language significantly. 🙂

  17. Ophelia says:

    Jesus God, look at Martin’s jacket! He looks like a silly bastard. I think he is a wanker, but I wonder if he was before Paltrow.. she could probably wankerize anyone. That’s so my new word.

  18. Ally says:

    A wanker is a guy who self-pleasures, so yeah it is kinda a rude image.

  19. Rosanna says:

    I agree with Zoe. Bono is bitter in this interview but at least he is a person who has done a lot of good (music and charity work). Martin has done some decent music but how about the rest? Between him and his wife they sound like they believe they are so enlightened, intelligent and holier-than-thou. So I’m glad Bono said what he said, but I’m sorry he partially retracted.

  20. Baholicious says:

    It’s the same thing as calling someone a ‘jerk off.’

  21. Ter says:

    Takes one to know one – That’s my take on this situation. I’ve never liked bonehead.

  22. Feike says:

    Chris Martin is a wankstain stuck in the end of my wank sock. I would love to bitch slap his stupid looking face with it.

  23. Aaron says:

    Bravo Bono, Coldplay SUCKS!!!

  24. Jason says:

    He’s not the messiah; he’s just a very naughty boy! I think Bono was trying (and failed miserably) to make a joke. Yesterday, Cold Play graciously played for free at the Australian Sound Aid concerts for victims of the local bushfires and even took the time to learn a song by a not so big Australian artist called John Farnham and play backup while Farnham performed this song. Cold Play had their own concert later the same day, so that was bloody decent of them. Chris Martin has been very self-deprecating in interviews here and a real good sport. Bono on the other hand… well mate I’m a big U2 fan, but comedy is not your forte.

  25. Mac McHenry says:

    If Bono is serious it might be because , Viva La Vida is starting to sound a lot like U2.

  26. U2 360 says:

    it’s all a joke. if bono felt this way, why would they thank chris martin in the new album?

  27. KATE says:


  28. Joan says:

    Bono was asked a question. He answered it! BOO HOO if you don’t like his answer. The man is entitled to his opinion whether you agree with him or not! Was he joking, who cares?!? As far as I’m concerned, we are all capable of making up our own minds as to whether we like Chris Martin or not…it doesn’t matter what Bono thinks!!! But,whether you agree or not, you cannot discount the humanitarian works that Bono and company have done. Actions speak louder than words…’nuf said.

  29. Joanna says:


    I am very surprised that you acted in such a manner. Chris did not deserve to be talked about like that. I think a REAL apology is in order. Be the Man we all think you are. Chris we all LOVE you.

  30. Sam says:

    ha haa…..listening to all you sad bastards judging people you dont know and will never meet is fucking hilarious!

    Get a life!

  31. Callum says:

    Haha bono is a wanker and how dare he say that about coldplay but the thing that pissed me of was what he said about noel galegher noel is 10x more talented than this fuck

  32. Buster Hymen says:

    But Chris Martin is a wanker?