THE outrage over Ken Morley's foul-mouthed Celebrity Big Brother tirades is Much Ado About Nothing, according to his wife - who blamed his love of Shakespeare.
Loyal Sue, 60, defended her man after he was booted off the show for making racist and sexist comments.
And in a remarkable claim, she said of the former Corrie star's language: "I think possibly - how should I put it - he's been reading lots of Jacobean and Shakespearean drama.
"He will have watched Breaking Bad as well. I know my son's got it. He would have got it from there."
Ken, who turns 72 on Sunday, has apologised for twice using an "outdated racist term" but refused to say sorry for making a slew of sexual comments.
They included calling Cami Li a "half-whore" and asking Patsy Kensit if she liked a "bit of flogging".
But after his comments sparked outrage, private school teacher Sue insisted the housemates needed to "calm down" and slammed them for being "extremely sensitive".
She said: "I was surprised by the level of offence. This was collective hysteria. Everything he said was in a jokey, conversational tone.
"I am puzzled by the way CBB made certain judgments about him. I think the women need to calm down and enjoy themselves. There's far worse things that could happen than this."
She added dismissively: "The people that are very, very angry about it now will probably be very, very angry about something else in a few days."
She even defended Ken's "half-whore" dig and said: "If someone said that to me I would take it in the spirit it was given - which was winding up.
"Was I surprised when he came out with it? I think possibly. When provoked the f-word will be used around the house, I won't pretend he doesn't use that word. But I've not heard those type terms, no."
Ken, who played Corrie's Reg Holdsworth from 1989 to 1995, was axed from the Channel 5 show on Monday.
But Sue insisted he was just from "a different generation". She said: "Ken does have a very idiosyncratic sense of humour. He's provocative and stirs things up.
"Having got to see more of the programme, this is surely the basic premise of it.
"I can't see how people can go on this programme not expecting to be provoked."
After blaming Shakespeare and Breaking Bad - a hit US drama about teacher-turned-drugtsar Walter White - for Ken's sexual slang, Sue then went on to laugh at his comment that he spied on housemates in the bathroom because they had the "best a***s in the world".
While Mirror columnist Nadia Sawalha and actress Patsy were among the housemates outraged by the joke, Sue said: "I didn't mind in the slightest!
"There he is in this house with these scantily dressed, beautiful young women - I'm not surprised. A lot of men would ha h ve him." from th ignorin b have agreed with him." Ken was axed from the show after ignoring a warning about his language.
The final straw came when he was recalling an anecdote about Frank Bruno's "negro rhythms" when they did a panto together in 1997. He had previously been asked by housemate Alexander O'Neal not to use the term.
Speaking from their PS1.1million fourbed home in Clayton-Le-Woods, Lancashire, Sue said: "It's not a word that comes into my natural speech but then I'm quite a bit younger than Ken. He's in a different generation."
Their son Roger, 24, posted an apology for his dad's behaviour on Facebook. Sue admitted that neither she or Ken had seen CBB before he decided to go on it. She said: "I thought it was going to be like a spa break.
"I didn't realise they were in dormitory-like conditions. I honestly thought, 'Oh my goodness, Please don't snore'."
And while she is standing by her husband, she admitted the whole thing has been a "rollercoaster". She said: "At some points I thought: 'I can't watch it' and wanted to go and have an early night with the Bible."
The couple have been together since 1977 after meeting at university. In 1989 Ken won his Corrie part as Reg and he finally proposed. Sue said: "We were sitting watching television and he said 'Well, we might as well go ahead and get married'. That was that."
Sue, who has not told her pupils she is Ken's wife, added: "He isn't a new man when it comes to household chores. I do most of the cooking but about twice a year he'll do a mean curry - using every utensil in the house."
And she said he can be "unpredictable" when it comes to romance. Sue said of her Romeo: "Sometimes he might buy me a really lovely present. Other times he tells me to buy something for the car for my birthday.
"Then sometimes he's really generous and will buy me a whole new car."
Do you mean filth like this?
Thou damned tripe visaged rascal - Henry IV part 2
You whoreson cullionly barbermonger - King Lear
An ass head and a coxcomb and a knave, a thin faced knave and gull - Twelfth Night
Thou cream-faced loon - Macbeth
I think the women need to calm down... there's far worse things that could happen WIFE SUE defends shamed ken
STRIPPED Chloe Goodman & Cami Li
SLANG Ken rants on show, and inset, Breaking Bad character Walter
LOVE STORY Pair tie knot in 1989
TALE OF WOE Sue reads Shakespeare at the family home