Shock footage of John Lennon mocking disabled people during a Beatles concert has sparked outrage among fans.
The singer’s disturbing behaviour was laid bare in an old clip which resurfaced on the TV show It Was Alright In The 1960s on Saturday night.
In it, the Beatles idol can be seen pulling faces and making exaggerated movements in an offensive manner.
Having seen the star’s behaviour on stage, many people took to social media to express their shock.
One wrote on Twitter: ‘John Lennon mocking the disabled is disturbing to say the least’, while another, Patrick Doporto, added: ‘That John Lennon clip was hard to watch.’
David Charles Bowen posted: ‘#johnlennon’s distasteful learning disability impressions I saw on #itwasalrightinthe60s tonight would never have been OK.’
Another user said Lennon had a ‘cruel “humour” about disabled people.’
A spokeswoman for the learning disability charity Mencap also condemned Lennon’s behaviour.
Lorainne Bellamy said: ‘As someone with a learning disability this footage shocked me and was painful to watch.
‘Times may have changed but I always find it hard to believe how such famous people can have these horrible views about real people.
‘I have seen attitudes towards people like me change a great deal since I was a child. It wasn’t uncommon for people with a learning disability to be publicly laughed at and made fun of at the time.
‘Much has changed but there is still a long way to go before the public realises people with a learning disability have the same hopes, dreams and feelings as anyone else, and should be treated with the same level of respect as anyone.
‘We are not here to be laughed at and I hope that today’s celebrities would never consider acting like this.’
Although adored by millions, the Beatles star also courted his fair share of controversy during a career spanning two decades.
In 1965 he was awarded the MBE along with the rest of the Beatles, but bragged later that he had smoked cannabis at the Palace. A year later he opined that the Beatles were ‘more popular than Jesus’, a comment which caused offence to the Christian faith.
It has also been claimed that Lennon was often ‘briefed’ by IRA sympathisers and even suggested playing a benefit concert for the IRA after Bloody Sunday in January 1972.
Then there was the bitter breakdown of Lennon’s marriage to first wife Cynthia, which came to a head in February 1968 when he drunkenly confessed to sleeping with other women.
The musician was murdered by Mark Chapman in December 1980, aged 40, a decade after The Beatles had broken up and they had all gone onto other projects.