Friday, October 31, 2008

Frankie Boyle, Emily Maitlis, and an unusual Halloween haunting

As Frankie Boyle pointed out this week, the controversy over the comments Russell Brand and Jonathan Ross left on Andrew Sach's answerphone, just go to show how much people love Fawlty Towers: "The guy who wrote Two Pints of Lager and a Packet of Crisps, I could go and kick his windows in; nobody would care," said Frankie with characteristic perspicacity.

Newsnight presenter Emily Maitlis, however, has now sought to broaden the discussion to issues of general comic decency, and has done so in a manner which can only be considered an attempt to gain Youtube immortality. On last night's programme, Emily asked BBC director-general Mark Thompson to consider an already notorious Frankie Boyle line from Mock the Week. And just in case the director-general wasn't sufficiently embarrassed, she then repeated it:

Only two things are certain: sales of Russell Brand DVDs, and sales of Frankie Boyle DVDs, will be massive this Christmas.


Tom Freeman said...

I think he managed a pretty good poker face. The merest hint of a smirk and he'd have lost his job within the hour.

Gordon McCabe said...


The point, of course, is that whilst Frankie's joke might be construed as an offensive comment (and also a very funny one), it wasn't a comment left on Prince Charles's answerphone. Sadly, his mind spinning and heart racing, the director-general missed the opportunity to make this point, and instead resorted to the stock-in-trade response: 'I'd need to see the comment in context to form an accurate judgement'.

And what sort of context, exactly, could provide a mitigating circumstance for that type of joke?

elberry said...

Interesting, he has 'liar' written all over his face, that Blairite thing of trying to sound passionate as you deflect just accusations. What a loathsome human being.

Stephen Gallagher said...

I think the context point is that there's a difference between being rude about someone, and being rude to someone.

If this miserable and hypocritical affair compels the gatekeepers to wise up to the difference by staking their jobs on it, then one good thing might emerge.