Comedian Geoff Norcott has defended the new BBC director-general’s plan to give more right-wing comics a voice.
According to The Daily Telegraph BBC director-general Tim Davie is planning to tackle perceived left-wing bias in the corporation's comedy shows – prompting 1970s comedian Jim Davidson to trend on Twitter.
Stand-up comedian Norcott, known for his appearances on BBC panel shows Mock the Week, Live at the Apollo and Question Time, has reacted by insisting right-wing jokes are not synonymous with blackface.
He tweeted: “Trying to keep a dignified silence. But just to reassure people. I’ve dug out a bunch of clips where I didn’t do blackface or. mock the disabled. It can be done!”
Trying to keep a dignified silence.— Geoff Norcott (@GeoffNorcott) September 1, 2020
But just to reassure people.
I’ve dug out a bunch of clips where I didn’t do blackface or. mock the disabled.
It can be done! https://t.co/q3Xc9GcGfa
The 43-year-old comedian claims to be the only outwardly Conservative Party voter on the UK comedy circuit and is an outspoken Brexiteer.
His tweet follows reports Davie will set out plans to restore “trust and confidence” in the BBC by better reflecting all sides of the political divide.
Measures are expected to include cancelling some shows, as well as attempting to find a better balance of satirical targets, rather than constantly targeting the Tory government.
Meanwhile, comedy panel shows will be told to book guests with a wider range of views on issues like Brexit.
In 2018, the BBC broadcaster Andrew Neil complained that the corporation's comedy output was too left wing, singling out The Mash Report, BBC Two's satirical late night show, as "self satisfied, self adulatory, unchallenged left-wing propaganda”.
Former The Generation Game host Jim Davidson has been trending on Twitter as an example of a well-known right-wing comedian.
The 66-year-old comic is known for making jokes about women, ethnic minorities, the LGBTQ community and disabled people.