Returning to the "more popular than Jesus" remark, below is a documentary about the controversy, which BBC Radio 2 aired back in 2009. It was news to me that John once opined, again in the presence of Maureen Cleave, that "Show business is an extension of the Jewish religion." Oops. This much is clear: John Lennon as we know him wouldn't have been possible in this day and age. Our contemporary media culture, with its rigorously observed PC pieties, would never have allowed it.
(If the video is removed, go here.)