The National:

HOLLYWOOD star James McAvoy has hit out at Quentin Letts over a "derogatory" comment directed at Scottish people.

The actor fired back at a review written by Letts in the Sunday Times's culture section.

Reviewing Peter Gynt at the National Theatre in London, the critic wrote: "After so much frenzied movement and whizz-bang theatrics, the fruity purr of veteran thesp Oliver Ford Davies as the button moulder brings a welcome calm to proceedings, and relief at last from the whining Scottish accents."

McAvoy was having none of it, and filmed a reply to Letts which he shared on social media.

Introducing it, he wrote: "If you’re on twitter would you mind tweeting this video to @thequentinletts? (NB,he’s not on insta) I’m not on that platform and would like to connect with him if possible. Many thanks."

In the video itself, McAvoy said: "I’m in San Diego with horrendous jet lag and I’ve just had my attention drawn to a review in the Sunday Times culture by Quentin Letts.

"He was reviewing Peter Gynt at the National Theatre and in this review he said: ‘The fruity purr of veteran thesp Oliver Ford Davies (a brilliant actor) as the button moulder brings a welcome calm to proceedings, and relief, at last from he whining Scottish accents.'

"Quentin, I would love to have a conversation with you. I’ll be doing a play soon in the West End, at the end of the year.

"Maybe we could have a post-show discussion about why you think it’s okay to label the sound of an entire nation in such a derogatory fashion?

"Where the person with an English accent gets referred to by his name as an individual with fruity superlatives, whereas the people who are whining just get referred to as Scottish. Not as individuals, not as actors, just an entire nation.

“You’re clearly an educated man and I think an intelligent man, I’d love to have a chat with you. Perhaps we could invite people with Scottish accents, people with English accents, the cast of Peter Gynt, perhaps the fruity burrs of Oliver Ford Davies could mediate, that would be fantastic. Do get back to me."