The veteran entertainer, who is best known for performing in drag as his character Dame Edna Everage, branded Caitlyn a "publicity seeking ratbag" and echoed comments by the feminist writer Germaine Greer, who compared gender reassignment surgery to "self-mutilation".

"I agree with Germaine! You're a mutilated man, that's all. Self-mutilation, what's all this carry on?" the comic told Britain's Daily Telegraph newspaper. "Caitlyn Jenner, what a publicity-seeking ratbag. It's all given the stamp, not of respectability, but authenticity or something."

A representative for Trans Media Watch, an organisation dedicated to improving the representation of the transgender community, came to the defence of the Olympic athlete-turned-reality star, insisting she had no choice but to accept the publicity surrounding her transition.

"Caitlyn Jenner was already in the public eye when she transitioned, so it's difficult to see how she could have done it without getting media attention," the organisation's chair Jennie Kermode tells WENN.

"It's not for us to comment on her motives as we don't know her, but we would hope that people would give her the benefit of the doubt. It can't be easy going through such a big personal change under the constant glare of the world's media."

Kermode also scolds Humphries over his remarks, adding, "We were disappointed to read Mr Humphries' comments, which have implications for trans people in general, not just Caitlyn Jenner.

"Whilst Caitlyn can afford a degree of security, ordinary trans people live day in a society where there are high levels of prejudice against them. Harassment and verbal abuse are common and they are much more likely to be victims of physical or sexual assault than the population at large...

"It's a real shame to see Mr Humphries speaking from a position of ignorance on this. We would like to see him meet with trans people and listen to their experiences before jumping to conclusions about what it means to be trans."

Transgender activist, writer, and broadcaster Paris Lees is also fuming over the comedian's comments, branding him "out of touch".

"I like Barry but he's 81 and out of touch like his pal Germaine Greer, frankly," Paris tells WENN. "I could live the rest of my life very happily without hearing one more word from someone who isn't trans about trans people...

"If Barry Humphries or anyone else wants to talk about trans people, they should discuss the fact that 48 per cent of young trans people in the U.K. have attempted suicide and the culture of scorn and discrimination that drove them there."