Comedian and former TV host Vince Sorrenti has come under fire after making a racist joke towards Māori live on the radio.

Appearing as a guest on the 2GB radio show hosted by Rob Duckworth, Vince began innocently parodying the lyrics of the Dean Martin classic That’s Amore.

It started off tamely, as he sung the words, “When you swim near the sand and an eel bites your hand, that’s a moray.”

“When you mix up some tuna and cheese and some cream that’s a mornay.”

However, the joke soon turned racist as he took a swing at Māori people.

“When you’re hit by a thug in a tough Kiwi pub that’s a Māori. But I digress,” he said before he and the others on air laughed.

Host Rob Duckworth then said, “There ya go! Vince Sorrenti is on fire already.”

The comments have struck a nerve with Māori living in Australia, with one Māori warned living in Sydney telling the Daily Mail that the comments were “definitely not acceptable”.

“He needs to reconsider his material in the future. Maybe in his day it was acceptable. Back in the dark ages maybe it would have been fine, but nowadays you have to consider things other than people’s ethnicity.”

“It’s not acceptable. It never has been, but it’s really not acceptable now.”

Vince Sorrenti has apologised for his “joke”, saying through a spokesperson that he admits times have changed.

“Those Kiwis are right,” Sorrenti’s spokesman said. “That humour is outdated and unacceptable.”

The spokesman said that Sorrenti was “embarrassed and very remorseful”.

“It’s a very silly and meaningless ditty and was never intended to hurt or offend. He is going to apologise on air this weekend.”

“When he was introduced on-air the other night, they played the That’s Amore music and he sang along without thinking. It was wrong and he is sorry. I’m surprised he even remembered the words.

“Believe it or not he even sang that parody on TV in New Zealand all those years ago. It’s a reminder of how much times have changed.”

Image credits: Facebook – Vince Sorrenti

This article first appeared on Over60.