BBC defend Jo Brand's battery acid joke as Nigel Farage calls for police action

Albertina Lloyd
Entertainment reporter, Yahoo UK
Nigel Farage has accused Jo Brand of inciting violence following a joke she made on the radio (Credit: Getty Images/PA)

The BBC has defended Jo Brand after Nigel Farage accused her of inciting violence.

The comedian made a comment on Radio 4 show Heresy on Tuesday about the spate of milkshakes thrown at Farage and other politicians lobbying during last month’s European Elections.

Brand quipped: "Why bother with a milkshake when you could get some battery acid?"

Read more: Danny Baker issues formal apology for 'shamefully racist' tweet

Farage took to Twitter to accuse the comedian of inciting violence and insisted “the police need to act”.

The BBC has Brand’s remark, saying: “Heresy is a long-running comedy programme where, as the title implies and as our listeners know, panellists often say things which are deliberately provocative but are not intended to be taken seriously.”

Outspoken TV presenter Piers Morgan has waded into the furore around Brand’s comment, linking it to former Radio 5 host Danny Baker.

He wrote: “Disgusting. This is an incitement for people to throw acid at politicians. Shame on you, Jo Brand.”

Morgan added: “Why did the BBC instantly sack Danny Baker for an offensive royal baby tweet but won’t sack Jo Brand for saying she’d like acid to be thrown at politicians?”

Baker was sacked and forced to issue a formal apology after sharing an image of chimpanzee on Twitter in response to the birth of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s son Archie.

Host of the show Victoria Coren Mitchell said: “Heresy is supposed to be a show that stimulates debate so I should step back and leave listeners to it anyway. But please stop saying ‘You wouldn't think that if....’. I would and I do. It's an absolute position on jokes.”

Read more: Jeremy Clarkson Calls For Strikers To Be Shot

She also addressed a Tweet at Farage, insisting the issue was one of free speech, saying: “Nigel! I’m genuinely disappointed; we don’t agree on everything, but I would totally have had you down as a free speech man. Especially when it comes to jokes.”

Heresy is billed as a “Discussion programme which challenges established ideas and questions received wisdom.”

Brand said during the show: "Well, yes I would say that but that's because certain unpleasant characters are being thrown to the fore and they're very, very easy to hate

“And I'm kind of thinking: 'Why bother with a milkshake when you could get some battery acid?

"That's just me. I'm not going to do it, it's purely a fantasy, but I think milkshakes are pathetic, I honestly do, sorry."