You don’t mess with Her Majesty.
Comedian David Baddiel’s Radio 4 comedy show has been axed by the BBC – just a few months after more than 100 people didn’t see the funny side of a series of jokes about the Queen’s sex life.
Don’t Make Me Laugh is written and fronted by the 52-year-old comedian, and features comedians tasked with telling topical jokes in front of a live audience – without making them laugh. The longer they go without raising a chuckle, the more points they get.
In one show, which just happened to air at 6.30pm on the Queen’s Big Day back in April, one of the subjects was “The Queen must have had sex at least four times.”
Pannellists including comic Russell Kane then made a series of sexual gags about Her Majesty and the Duke of Edinburgh, and more than 120 people wrote a stiff letter of complaint. The BBC Trust later agreed that the comments were “intrusive and demeaning.”
Baddiel apologised for the jokes on Twitter, and explained that the pre-recorded show was never meant to go out on the Queen’s actual birthday.
Well that’s alright then.
The show was shifted to an 11pm timeslot as a direct result of the scandal, and BBC insiders are at pains to point out that its cancellation has nothing to do with offending the Royals.
“We’re lucky to receive hundreds of great ideas from brilliant comedians who want to work with Radio 4, and we always bring a mix of returning shows to our audiences whilst also finding space for new programmes in our packed schedule,” a spokeperson for Radio 4 said.
“This means not all shows get recommissioned as otherwise it would be impossible to try out fresh formats and ideas.”