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Ricky Gervais upset fans earlier this week when he told a joke about a “dead baby” but he’s insisted he is “not sorry” for causing offence and has refused to apologise.
The comedian, 55, was slammed by grieving parents Suzi and Ryan Gourley, who were so horrified by his joke that they walked out of his stand-up show at Belfast’s Waterfront Hall on Tuesday.
The couple were outraged after Gervais made the gag and later revealed their attendance at his gig marked their first night out since the July stillbirth of their son Eli.
Amid the upset he caused, the controversial star pinned a tweet to the top of his Twitter page which reads ‘I wish I had a pound for everytime I offend someone. Wait, I do’ and said to a fan on the social media site that he is glad that nobody knows what his ‘dead baby joke’ is because it means they will ‘have to pay to hear it’.
— Paul Ellis (@Paul_Ellis147) March 31, 2017
— Kevin Bimpson (@kabimpson) March 31, 2017
@rickygervais I was EXTREMELY offended when you pointed out all the flaws in Humpty Dumpty too
— GioGio (@rio_de_gio) March 31, 2017
When he finished the Belfast leg of his show on Tuesday, Gervais wrote on Twitter: “Still buzzing from the amazing Belfast crowd last night AND from #LifeOnTheRoad winning at the @NATFilmAwards! What a time to be alive ”
But the couple contacted Stillbirth And Neonatal Death Support NI, who then posted a warning on its Facebook page saying couple had walked out over a “dead baby joke”.
And a Waterfront Hall spokesman admitted that they were aware of the issue, telling The Sun newspaper: “Unfortunately we have no control at all over the material artists choose to use on stage, but we do of course appreciate this particular theme will have caused distress.”
I'm coming to Sheffield next week. Can't wait. Warning: Contains many jokes that may offend your nan. pic.twitter.com/xxXtqrwyAc
— Ricky Gervais (@rickygervais) March 31, 2017
Our spies tell us that Ricky’s ‘dead baby’ joke refers to the fact he is often asked ‘why’ he doesn’t have children. The funnyman’s comeback is said to debate the issue of the world’s ever-growing population.
His longtime partner Jane Fallon, 53, previously revealed the couple decided not to start a family early on in their relationship and stuck to it.
The author said: “I remember steeling myself, trying to imagine what I would do if he’d had a change of heart. I was so convinced of my decision that I couldn’t even imagine the alternative. It turned out he had been having the same anxiety about me. Cue much relief and celebration.”
Do you think his joke was insensitive?