After the incident, a Foxtel representative informed Crikey that Delany’s comment was “meant to be self-deprecating.” In a statement, the business said: “The aim was to convey that for him, ‘Games of Thrones’ was something extremely new for television in 2011 and that Emilia Clarke moved from being somewhat unknown to one of the most recognisable and most-loved actors in television and film.

“On behalf of Mr Delany, the Foxtel Group apologies if his remarks were misunderstood and caused any offense,” the statement concluded.

The new HBO prequel series “House of the Dragon” does not involve Clarke in any way because it is set hundreds of years before “Game of Thrones.” 2019 saw Foxtel make the contentious “Game of Thrones” series finale responsible for the biggest overnight subscriber increase in business history. “Game of Thrones” is broadcast on Foxtel in Australia.