Actor Heath Ledger has apologised to the presenters of Australian TV show SUNRISE after he ignored reporters' questions and focused on peeling an orange during an interview.

The 10 THINGS I HATE ABOUT YOU star was interviewed by KATHERINE TULICH last week (ends26AUG05) for the Channel 7 network's morning show and his unhelpful interview style prompted hundreds of complaints from incensed viewers.

Tullich described the one-to-one as the "number one worst interview" of her career, with her co-host DAVID KOCH adding, "I would have put that orange somewhere less polite."

However, Ledger has come forward to apologise, blaming his behaviour on his nerves over the impending birth of his and actress fiancee Michelle Williams' first child.

Ledger says, "I'm sorry you were asking me these questions so early and I hadn't figured out a way to speak of it in public.

"I apologise for my terrible interview skills.

"I wasn't prepared to expose stories about something so special and wonderfully private that is happening in my life. I guess a part of me wishes that I'd never have to and that maybe I could protect this special time. I was dreaming."