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Jubilee concert: Lee Mack makes ad-libbed Boris Johnson Partygate joke in front of prime minister

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Lee Mack made a joke at the expense of Boris Johnson – in front of the prime minister himself – during the Queen’s platinum jubilee concert.

The comedian graced the stage after Queen + Adam Lambert finished their opening performance.

“We are here right outside the gates of Buckingham Palace for the party of a lifetime,” he said, adding: “I’ll tell you what – finally we can say the words ‘party’ and ‘gate’ and it’s a positive.”

The comment, which poked fun at the many controversies to have rocked Johnson’s party in recent months, drew applause from the crowd – which included Johnson.

“That wasn’t in the autocue,” Mack admitted as the crowd laughed. Johnson’s reponse to the jibe was not shown on the BBC broadcast.

The Not Going Out star was referencing the Partygate scandal that has led to increased calls for Johnson to quit as prime minister.

In the wake of senior civil servant Sue Gray’s report into the scandal, in which several gatherings were revealed to have occurred during Covid-19 lockdowns, several Tory MPs have submitted letters of no confidence in their leader.

Lee Mack improvised a joke about the Partygate scandal at the Queen’s platinum jubilee concert (BBC)
Lee Mack improvised a joke about the Partygate scandal at the Queen’s platinum jubilee concert (BBC)

The prime minister issued a televised apology over the scandal in an address to the nation after Gray’s report attacked “a serious failure” to abide by the “standards expected of the entire British population”.

Mack’s joke comes a day after Johnson faced a “substantial amount” of boos as he arrived at St Paul’s Cathedral for a service honouring the Queen’s 70 years on the throne.

During the service, he read a bible passage that many found to be “ironic” when considering the Partygate scandal; The Thick of It creator Armando Iannucci praised organisers for fixing it so that Johnson read out this specific passage.

The ceremony was kicked off in heartwarming fashion as the Queen showed off her acting skills for a “cute” skit opposite the CGI version of Paddington Bear voiced by Ben Whishaw.

Boris Johnson and wife Carrie Symonds attended the platinum jubilee concert (Getty Images)
Boris Johnson and wife Carrie Symonds attended the platinum jubilee concert (Getty Images)

Later in the ceremony, viewers noticed that George Ezra censored his own song lyric about death during a performance of one of his hit songs.

Follow along with all the live updates from the jubilee concert here.

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