As Queen musical We Will Rock You celebrates its tenth anniversary at the West End's Dominion Theatre, the show's book writer Ben Elton has hit back at the critics who famously panned it when it first opened.

Speaking to the Metro newspaper, Elton, who attended last night's gala alongside Brian May, Roger Taylor and producer Robert De Niro, said: "We got a particular savaging. The combination of two successful entities - Queen and me - was going to be a red rag to the self-appointed arbiters of what should be in theatre."

"The Dominion's a 2,500 seat theatre. There are very few shows that can work there. The idea the critical establishment could wish some wonderful erudite piece into it is nonsense - the place would have been turned into a multi-storey car park."

Elton, who made his name on the alternative stand-up circuit in the 1980s and wrote scripts for The Young Ones and Blackadder, also hit back at accusations he worked on We Will Rock You solely for money. "I've only done projects that have excited me," he said. "If I did things for the money, I'd have done adverts in the 1980s, when I was hot enough to be offered them, and Police Academy 6, which I was asked to write."

As well as We Will Rock You, Elton's other stage credits include Andrew Lloyd Webber musicals The Beautiful Game and Love Never Dies.