Photo credit: Raph_PH via Flickr (CC BY 2.0

Birmingham comedian investigated by PSNI over joke

Birmingham comedian Joe Lycett says he was investigated by the PSNI after one of his jokes offended an audience member.

“So someone came to my tour show a few weeks back and was offended by one of the jokes,” he said.

“And their perfectly understandable response to this was… to call the f**king police.”

Lycett is known for his appearances in programs such as Live at the Apollo, Taskmaster, Never Mind the Buzzcocks, 8 Out of 10 Cats, QI and more.

While he claimed that the people were “very nice” about the incident, they felt they “had a duty to investigate.”

“This involved me writing a statement explaining the context of the joke for them,” he said.

“I particularly enjoyed putting the words ‘giant donkey d**k’ into a message to a police detective.”

He said that the police were “charmed, and hopefully amused” as they had since closed the matter, and that the joke “remains firmly and proudly in the show.”

“The tour continues until September, unless I am jailed,” he joked.

On the comic’s Instagram he posted a screenshot of an email he had reportedly received from the police, confirming “that police now consider this matter closed.”

Some social media users were quick to express frustration and disbelief with the situation.

“Joe Lycett investigated by police after ‘offended’ audience member complains about joke at comedy show,” said user Chris Rose.

“I can’t tell who is worse, the audience member who called the police or the police for taking it seriously.”

Former Belfast professional boxer Carl Frampton tweeted: “I’ve never been so embarrassed of my city.”

Fellow comic Janey Godley tweeted “Fabulous work Joe Lycett – imagine someone calling the police over a joke they didn’t like. Snowflakes everywhere.”

The incident comes as Ireland’s debate around so-called “hate speech” legislation continues, with Independent Donegal TD Thomas Pringle this week calling strongly for the laws to come into force in the Republic.

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