Emma Thompson has offended Isle of Wight residents by joking that the island stones gay people and shoots Irish and Scottish people.

The actress, 51, was appearing on US programme The Late Late Show, where she discussed holiday destinations with host Craig Ferguson who said he was visiting Catalina, an island off the California coast.

When Ferguson described it as “kind of like the Isle of Wight”, Thompson replied: “Oh, so they stone homosexuals there? Nice.”

She continued: “I think they are still allowed to flog them, which of course some of them enjoy. I think they are allowed to shoot Irish or Scottish people if they arrive on the island – it is still in the rules. They are allowed to torture people. It’s lovely, you should go.”

While the jokes earned her applause from the studio audience, Isle of Wight residents were not amused.

According to the Daily Telegraph, David Pugh, council leader on the island, said: “It’s a great shame that someone with her profile should make such ridiculous claims. Presumably Emma Thompson made these comments to get some laughs on the chat show.”

Isle of Wight Tory MP Andrew Turner added: “The Isle of Wight is known as a friendly and welcoming tourist destination and if Emma Thompson had ever been here she would know that. I hope she said this in a light-hearted way and it will be taken that way because it’s clearly rubbish.”

Thompson upset Exeter last year by claiming that it was too white and the BNP “would feel very comfortable here”.

She made the comments after her adopted son, Rwandan-born Tindyebwa Agab, suffered some racism during the first year of his politics degree in the city.