Christopher Reeve's Superman co-star Margot Kidder has blasted producers of the movie's TV spin-off SMALLVILLE, for its insensitive treatment of Reeve's death.

Reeves spent nine years in a wheelchair after a horse riding accident in 1995 and suffered a fatal heart attack in October (04).

And the former Lois Lane was outraged when she was invited to star in the hit series to announce the demise of DR VIRGIL SWANN - the scientist character Reeve played in Smallville.

The 56-year-old actress fumes, "I backed out of doing it. They wanted to have my character announce Dr Swann's death, which I thought was exploitative.

"Chris was my friend. I loved him and thought it was a really tasteless idea."

Smallville's executive director AL GOUGH, says, "We're sorry she chose not to come back. We certainly don't think what we were doing was exploitative.

"Christopher Reeve was a big part of the mythology of Smallville."

19/04/2005 13:41