John Bishop wants 'blood sport' Grand National to be banned

Stand-up comedian John Bishop performing at the Underbelly / McEwan Hall as part of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.. (Photo by robbie jack/Corbis via Getty Images)

Comedian John Bishop has called for the Grand National, along with "all blood sports", to be banned.

The 53-year-old, who once part-owned a race horse, has explained he's felt "increasingly uncomfortable" over the horse racing event which is held annually at Aintree.

“I have fond memories of the Grand National, but in recent years, as I have become more committed to animal welfare, I have grown increasingly uncomfortable about an event that every year results in the deaths of horses," the Liverpudlian told the Daily Star Sunday.

Read more: John Bishop explains why he got his ear pierced for the first time aged 52

"Some people will argue that the horses are bred for the event and have incredible lives. And that as the Grand National is such a prestigious event, the risk is worth the reward.

Runners and riders during the Randox Health Grand National Handicap Chase (Photo by Mike Egerton/PA Images via Getty Images)

“I will accept this argument the day someone shows me a horse entering itself into the race. During the three-day National meeting, an average of three horses die each year.

“I just don’t think it’s acceptable that any animal should lose its life in pursuit of entertainment, which is also why I believe all blood sports should be banned.”

Bishop detailed how was not "entirely against" horse racing and that he once owned a horse called Know My Name with some friends before the animal was retired.

Comedian John Bishop at Chester Racecourse (Photo by Nick Potts/PA Images via Getty Images)

"We had to retire it because it developed hay fever," he told the publication. “I am glad to say that the horse is now enjoying its retirement, no doubt receiving antihistamine.”

It comes after the father-of-three recently revealed how he was left “contemplating death” after suffering a cancer scare three years ago.

Following a scan after a prolonged cough, it was discovered Bishop had shadows on both lungs which transpired to be “nothing sinister”.