Frankie Boyle addresses controversy over joke about Holly Willoughby: ‘You’d struggle to be offended’

·2-min read
Frankie Boyle addresses controversy over joke about Holly Willoughby: ‘You’d struggle to be offended’

Frankie Boyle has addressed a controversial stand-up routine in which he was said to have joked about raping and murdering TV presenter Holly Willoughby.

The outspoken Scottish comedian reportedly argued that the joke came within a wider context of discussing whether a joke like the one in question is acceptable to make.

Boyle, who has been known for making provocative jokes throughout his career, delivered the routine while performing at Latitude festival last week.

The Daily Mail claimed that Boyle joked to the crowd: “I’d obviously kill her and rape her afterwards. I’m joking – I’d rape her first.”

However, Boyle later disputed this on Twitter, describing their transcription of his material as “garbled nonsense” and “a concept and wording no comic would ever use”.

The publication claimed Boyle was interrogated on the material by an audience member at an event promoting his new novel Meantime.

“Can I just say, my routine about raping and f***ing Holly Willoughby was part of a very long routine about whether or not it’s OK to do a joke about that,” he reportedly said.

“I look at it from both sides, there are pluses and minuses.”

Boyle stars in the comedy series ‘Frankie Boyle’s New World Order’ for the BBC (BBC/Zeppotron/Endemol Shine UK/Brian J Ritchie)
Boyle stars in the comedy series ‘Frankie Boyle’s New World Order’ for the BBC (BBC/Zeppotron/Endemol Shine UK/Brian J Ritchie)

“More grief from the Daily Mail,” Boyle wrote on Twitter on Saturday (30 July). “The joke they ‘quote’ is garbled nonsense, a concept and wording no comic would ever use. There is a very long routine in my current show which concludes that certain jokes are probably a product of toxic masculinity. You’d struggle to be offended.

“Papers like the Daily Mail are outraged by ‘safe space’ comedy and all for free speech, until it’s routines reflecting on things like stereotyping and toxic masculinity, or taking ideas into places where they can’t be used to churn out clickbait.”

The Independent has contacted Boyle’s representative for further comment.

Earlier this year, comedian Jimmy Carr faced a strong public pushback over a joke in his Netflix special His Dark Material, which described travellers being killed in the Holocaust as a “positive” thing.

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting