Niall Horan has addressed the controversy surrounding his appearance on The Den following its triumphant return on RTÉ Does Comic Relief by confirming to fans that he was "in on the joke".

The Mullingar man, a longtime Den fan, saw his childhood dream come true when he appeared on The Den's Talent on the Telly during the charity fundraiser, performing the song Black and White.

Earlier in the week, Dustin the Turkey responded to fans of Horan who took umbrage with his treatment of the singer, after the One Direction star was cut off mid-song, saying: "We wanted Harry Styles! You're only getting a minute-and-a-half! I didn't realise people from Mullingar had teeth!"

Skip through to 7:34 to see Niall Horan's Talent on the Telly on RTÉ Does Comic Relief

The 26-year-old singer has now reassured fans - especially irate American fans - that he was in on the quip, and explained to his legion of followers how Dustin is "like our national mascot".

During an interview on Sirius XM, Horan addressed the controversy after he was asked if he's "in a fight with a Turkey".

"Oh yeah this has kicked off big time. So there’s a few characters that did an afternoon TV show in Ireland for years, like puppets, and one of them is known to be quite brash but in the most Irish way possible," he laughed.

"So my fans have completely retaliated against the Turkey and it's kicked off… and he’s like our national mascot so I’m kind of stuck between a rock and a hard place where I don’t know whether to tell the fans that like it’s a puppet, and to also realise that our national treasure is Dustin the Turkey."

Horan ended the chat  by confirming he was "in on the joke".

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