Michael Moore has used the high-profile launch of his controversial documentary FAHRENHEIT 9/11 to blast British Prime Minister TONY BLAIR - calling his friendship with American President George W Bush an "embarrassment".

The outspoken movie-maker - who exposes links between the Bush and BIN LADEN families and documents the US-led war on terrorism in the film - describes Blair as an intelligent man who made a mistake in forming a close bond with the President.

Speaking after the screening at the Cannes Film Festival, Moore said, "What has also sort of depressed me about Tony Blair is he knows better.

"The one thing you can say about Blair is that he's smart. What is he doing hanging out with this guy? They make the weirdest couple I've ever seen.

"I know his misses his old buddy BILL CLINTON - but to settle for this? Brits, aren't you embarrassed?"

Blair is mocked in Fahrenheit 9/11 - which also features exclusive footage of US soldiers hooding and degrading Iraqi detainees - in a spoof of the TV western BONANZA. In an attack on the President's Texan roots, Moore superimposes the faces of Bush, Blair, Vice-President Dick Cheney and Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld on the bodies of the characters - sparking laughter from the audience.

18/05/2004 21:02