The openly gay actor and author Stephen Fry has admitted to having illegally downloaded his former comedy partner, Hugh Laurie’s medical drama House.

He told an audience at the iTunes Festival in London that he used the Bit-Torrent file sharing system to illegally download the programme.

“The last thing I illegally downloaded. Was it a gay sex romp? … It was the season finale of House,” he said.

He claimed that he had legally downloaded the entire series but while in Indonesia was unable to get hold of the final episode so resorted to file sharing.

Fry also criticised the prosecution of the founders of Pirate Bay and said that the entertainment industry’s approach to piracy is flawed. He said the industry are so blind to the pirate culture as to “think that someone who bit-torrents an episode of 24 is the same as someone who steals somebody’s handbag.”

Via Twitter he later said: “Hope I’m not misunderstood. Such a pity if I get misrepresented as a ‘help yourself and be a pirate’ advocate …”