Nigel Farage SLAMS BBC over ‘appalling’ Jo Brand joke
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The English comedian, 64, is a well-known stand-up and a regular on panel shows such as the BBC’s ‘Have I Got News for You’. She is also the presenter of ‘The Great British Bake Off: An Extra Slice’ on Channel 4. The programme, which is the aftershow to ‘The Great British Bake Off’, sees Jo and her guests discuss the latest baker to be eliminated from the competition.
George Aristidou was the seventh contestant to leave the ‘Bake Off’ tent on Tuesday after he struggled during caramel week.
Tonight, he will reflect on his best moments from the show, alongside Jo, who will be joined by ‘Bake Off’ judge Paul Hollywood and comedian Tom Allen.
Jo is known for her straight-faced comedic style, which she uses to deliver withering takes on a range of subjects.
However, one of the comedian’s off-the-cuff remarks previously landed her in major hot water.
Unearthed accounts show how Jo sparked a major backlash with a joke on Radio 4’s ‘Heresy’ talk show in 2019.
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Appearing as a guest, she joked that throwing battery acid at “unpleasant characters” such as Nigel Farage would be better than milkshakes.
Mr Farage, who was leader of the Brexit Party at the time, was one of several European election candidates, including Tommy Robinson, that had been showered in milkshake by members of the public in the months before ‘Heresy’ was broadcast.
Speaking on the show, Jo said: “Why bother with a milkshake when you could get some battery acid?
“That’s just me. I’m not going to do it.
“It’s purely a fantasy, but I think milkshakes are pathetic, I honestly do, sorry.”
Jo’s comments drew a furious response from Mr Farage, celebrities and members of the public, some of whom demanded the BBC sack the comedian, despite her not being employed by the broadcaster.
Mr Farage claimed the remarks were aimed at him and demanded that police open an investigation into the incident.
He said on Twitter: “I am sick to death of overpaid, left wing, so-called comedians on the BBC who think their view is morally superior.
“Can you imagine the reaction if I had said the same thing as Jo Brand?”
Brendan Cox, the husband of Labour MP Jo Cox, who was murdered at her constituency surgery in 2016, also hit out at the comments.
He said: “I dislike Nigel Farage’s politics profoundly. But I don’t think throwing stuff at politicians you disagree with is a good idea.
“It normalises violence and intimidation and we should consistently stand against it.”
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The official spokesperson for Theresa May, the Prime Minister at the time, asked the BBC to explain why the joke had been broadcast.
They said: “Theresa May has been clear that politicians should be able to go to work and campaign without fear.
“Brendan Cox, the husband of Jo Cox, has said that violence and intimidation should not be normalised and we should consistently stand against it. The Prime Minister shares this view.”
The BBC received dozens of complaints about the joke and edited it out from the programme, which was uploaded to iPlayer.
Jo opened up about the incident on Radio 4’s ‘Loose Ends’ show in September of this year, saying she “wished” the “terrible” joke hadn’t been said.
She said: “Of course, unless you’re someone who’s a very vicious nasty person, I wouldn’t want to do that to anybody. It was very difficult for a while.”
However, she also added that people should take what comedians say, “with a pinch of salt” and that there is “a big difference” between them and everybody else.
She also expressed her regret over her choice of words on the Out to Lunch with Jay Rayner podcast last year, saying it had been “unbearable” when people implied her joke could be seen as endorsing or inciting acid attacks.
She said: “That made me feel really awful, really terrible. I would have quite happily body-swerved that few months of my life to be honest.”
Ms Brand also clarified that her intention was merely to poke fun at the spate of milkshake attacks and not to incite violence of any kind.
She added: “I am quite adolescent really. I like to be quite childish.
“Every now and then, it’s not deliberate, I end up doing things that annoy people… It was so obviously a joke.”
The Great British Bake Off: An Extra Slice’ is on Channel 4 from 8pm-9pm tonight.
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