SYDNEY-The chief executive of Australian airline Qantas has had a speech interrupted by a man who shoved a pie in his face.

Alan Joyce was addressing a business breakfast in Perth when a man strode to the stage and surprised him.

The man was detained by security until authorities arrived. Police said they were interviewing him in custody.

Mr Joyce had been discussing the airline’s recent decision to operate non-stop flights from London to Perth.

“I don’t know what that was about,” he told the audience of about 500 people.

Mr Joyce left the stage briefly to clean his face before returning to applause from the crowd. “Now, if there are any more pies can you get it over with now,” he said.

One witness, Ben Harvey, told Radio 6PR it had not been clear what prompted the incident, describing it as a “bizarre situation”. A Western Australia Police spokesman said: “We’re currently investigating the incident and interviewing the individual concerned.” Australia’s 7 News reported that the pie-wielder was thought to be in his 60s or 70s. Mr Joyce is not the first high-profile person to have been struck with a pie. Others include News Corp executive chairman Rupert Murdoch, Microsoft founder Bill Gates and television presenter Jeremy Clarkson.