Rupert Everett has come under fire after he made a shocking attack on gay fathers.

The 53-year-old gay actor - who played a gay father opposite Madonna in 2000 film The Next Best Thing - has given a controversial interview to the Sunday Times Magazine, sparking a backlash from gay rights campaigners.

Rupert said: "I can't think of anything worse than being brought up by two gay dads. Some people might not agree with that. Fine! That's just my opinion.

"I'm not speaking on behalf of the gay community. In fact, I don't feel like I'm part of any 'community'. The only community I belong to is humanity and we've got too many children on the planet, so it's good not to have more."

Ben Summerskill, chief executive of the gay rights group Stonewall, said: "Rupert should get out a little bit more to see the facts for himself.

"There is absolutely no evidence that the kids of gay parents suffer in the way they are being brought up or in how they develop."

Rupert said his mother had met his boyfriend but "still wishes I had a wife and kids". He added: "She thinks children need a father and a mother and I agree with her."

The actor's mother Sara Everett, 77, was also interviewed in the same article and admitted she wished the actor had a wife and children.

She said: "In the past, I have said that I wish Rupert was straight and, I probably still feel that. I'd like him to have a pretty wife. I'd like him to have children. He's so good with children. He'd make a wonderful father.

"But I also think a child needs a mummy and a daddy. I've told him that and he takes it very well. He doesn't get angry with me. He just smiles."