Comedians have turned on Keith Chegwin after he tweeted other people’s gags to his 36,000 followers.
He claimed that most of the jokes were his own, or so old he couldn’t credit the dead writers.
But when it was pointed out to him that he had repeated lines that working comedians use for their living, he harrumphed that the brouhaha was just caused by ‘the ususal [sic] bunch of jealous comics’.
And with no apparent sense of irony he told the comics whose jokes he’d stolen to ‘do what I do [and] write new stuff’.
The row has escalated across Twitter to such an extent that ‘Keith Chegwin’ is now one of the trending topics on the microblogging site.
One of the comics to point out that Chegwin was using stolen gags was Simon Evans, who told him that his Tweet: ‘My auntie Marge has been ill for so long we changed her name to “I can’t believe she’s not better”’ was written by Milton Jones.
Evans told him: ‘Cheggars old chap, you are no doubt acting out of good intentions but these jokes are written by professionals.They earn their keep telling them and it's really not on to just distribute them like this, without credit.'
But in response Chegwin blocked him from his account. He has also told anyone else upset that he's recycling gag that aren't his just to 'unfollow' him.
Ed Byrne also called the TV presenter on his plagiarism, saying: ‘I think you’re wrong not crediting your sources. Of the last four jokes you tweeted one was Milton Jones and one was Lee Mack. Both working comics.’
Cheggers posted back: ‘Most of the gags are my very own & original. Others are so old I'm not gonna start crediting dead people?’
But Chegwin turned on the acts whose work he was lifting, tweeting ungrammatically: ‘I've really upset these standup comics. Most of them doesn’t write good Stuff they just refresh your memory.’
And he said he wouldn’t be upset if other people stole his jokes – which might be a problem if they weren’t his to give away in the first place. ‘Look If I do a gag. I’m not worried - If you nick it for yourself,’ he weeted. ‘Good on ya.. so long as it gives people a chuckle. Life is too short.'
In an interview last year, Chegwin was asked for what advice he would give to budding comics, and replied: ‘If you’ve not got your own, nick a gag! That’s what all the top comedians do.’