Robbie Williams was greeted with shocked laughter when he made a joke about the police operation launched in the wake of the Jimmy Savile scandal.
The Take That singer made the quip to a room full of celebrities and radio industry insiders at the Sony Awards ceremony, held at the Grosvenor House hotel in central London.
Speaking to the audience before he played a short set at the start of this year’s awards, Robbie said he hadn’t recognised anyone’s names other than his own as he looked at the table plan for the event.
He then added: “Looking from up here, it looks like the stars of Operation Yewtree 2014. Too soon? Too soon.”
Robbie had been introduced by awards host Chris Evans’ four-year-old son Noah, who was attending the event in his pyjamas and described the singer as his ‘favourite’.
The Rock DJ singer said hello to the little boy, but added that the youngster’s presence meant he couldn’t make any of the jokes he had been intending to tell.
Robbie couldn’t resist making comments about his most recent hit Candy failing to make the Radio 1 playlist, but also made jokes at his own expense – describing himself as ‘fat and old’.
He also said there were tickets left for his forthcoming tour, adding: “That didn’t used to happen.”
The Saturdays – minus pregnant singer Rochelle Humes who is ‘about to pop’ according to bandmate Frankie Sandford – also performed at the event.