Oscar-nominee Heath Ledger has explained his 'camp' behaviour at the Screen Actors Guild (SAG) Awards last month (29JAN06), insisting he was suffering from stage fright.

Ledger placed his hand of his hip and giggled as he joined his Brokeback Mountain co-star Jake Gyllenhaal to introduce a segment on the gay cowboy film.

After his body language raised questions among critics, Ledger slammed speculation he was mocking the serious topic of his movie, insisting he was just uncomfortable on stage.

He says, "I am so sorry and I apologise for my nervousness.

"I would be absolutely horrified if my stage fright was misinterpreted as a lack of respect for the film, the topic and for the amazing film-makers."

The Australian actor says he discovered he was doing a presentation just minutes before going on stage and was shocked by the script.

He adds, "How can you say all that stuff - 'two brave cowboys' - with a straight face? It was just so surreal.

"I've stood like that (with my hands on my hip) since I was a kid. You can ask my mum. It's nerves, I guess. I'm a very fidgety person, always moving, never able to sit or stand still.

"I am not a public speaker and never will be. I'm just not one of those naturally funny relaxed actors who enjoy the spotlight and are so good at it."