World-renowned motor racing star Sir Stirling Moss, has come under heavy criticism for saying that he wouldn’t want a “poofter” to play him in a film.

Gay rights campaigners criticised the former Formula One driver’s “offensive” and “homophobic” comment, which he made at the Motor Sport Hall of Fame, as he said that he would like James Bond actor, Daniel Craig, to play him.

Moss, 83, said: “I hope the actor would be masculine – not a poofter or anything like that. Perhaps the guy from Skyfall.”

He was responding to news that Chris Hemsworth, would play racing icon James Hunt in a biopic. He then went on last night to defend his comments, risking further offence, the Mirror reports.

He said: “I think it would be difficult for someone of the other persuasion, who is homosexual, to take on the part, as I have spent my life driving cars and chasing girls.

“I’m sorry I’ve caused offence, but I’m disappointed anyone could be so narrow-minded as to take offence. It was not meant to cause any.”

He continued: “I have homosexual friends. There’s nothing wrong with it. It’s the way things are nowadays.”

Head of Stonewall Ben Summerskill said: “Rugby players like Gareth Thomas and brave gay people serving in ­Afghanistan might be better qualified to comment on masculinity than accomplished car driver Sir Stirling.”

And Pace boss Margaret Unwin said: “It’s a pity that a public figure of such standing apparently still holds such offensive views…. ”Homophobia is still rife.”

Peter Tatchell commented to say: “I am surprised and shocked that such a great British sporting hero has stooped to this crude homophobic slur. Prejudice has no place in any sport. Surely Stirling Moss would want himself to be played by the best actor, regardless of their sexuality?”