Pizza ad riles Sir Ed's family

Family members of Sir Edmund Hillary are upset by a pizza promotion featuring a skeletal animation of the revered New Zealander dancing on a grave.

Hell Pizza posted the animation which depicts Sir Ed, Heath Ledger and the Queen Mother emerging from graves and dancing to Michael Jackson's song Thriller, two days before Halloween, just 10 months after Sir Ed's death.

Sir Ed's son Peter Hillary said it was "extremely poor taste".

"I think it's a bit disturbing...a little grotesque," he told the Dominion Post.

"I don't think it's funny and I'm not very impressed. It is early days and it's still pretty raw."

TPF Group retail operations manager Glenn Corbett said the company, which owns the Hell Pizza chain, had not intended to offend the Hillary family or the general public. "Clearly he's revered in New Zealand and we all love him," he told the paper.

"The idea of Sir Ed being there was intended to be a light-hearted remembrance of Sir Ed that was a bit hellish."

Sir Ed and Heath Ledger died in January this year and the Queen Mother died in 2002.

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