Doug Stanhope has caused an online storm after wishing a 'fetid ovarian cyst’ on journalist Allison Pearson.
The American comic responded on Twitter to a column Pearson had written in yesterday’s Daily Telegraph arguing that Tony Nicklinson, who is paralysed from the neck down, was wrong to fight for the right to die.
Tweeting yesterday, Stanhope labelled Pearson a ‘cunt’, writing: ‘I just went Christian just to pray you get a fetid ovarian cyst. Let me know if it works, #RightToDie’.
This morning he added: ‘Woke up still enraged at @AllisonPearson publicly savaging a man who can only defend himself by blinking. Congrats, you made the act.’
Pearson has hit back in her Twitter account, calling Stanhope's comments 'vile incitement to hatred against women' and questioning his suitability to be employed.
She asked: 'I am investigating employers of @DougStanhope and will be asking why they choose to hire vile misogynist. Does Channel 4 actually employ him? Do they know he is an online misogynist and creep?
She also implied that Stanhope had wished cancer on her, and said: 'What is subtext of hoping my beautiful children get paralysed? He will live to rue the day.'
In reply Stanhope wrote: 'In your article, you say that Mr Nicklinson should hope for an infection in order to die - unlike me, you weren't kidding.'
Later, he appealed to his 81,000 followers: ‘Please don't randomly abuse @AllisonPearson. Read her article and excoriate her smug, personal smear of the weakest of men.
‘Oh... and for the record I never wished cancer on @AllisonPearson as you keep repeating. Only a mere ovarian cyst. Matters how? Wishes work?’
Pearson says she plans to write a further column about the incident – while Stanhope, who is currently touring the UK, says he'll take it up on stage.
Frankie Boyle pointed out: '"He threatened me with cancer" is a good poster quote.'
Stanhope’s highest profile UK appearances have been his sequences on Charlie Brooker’s Newswipe on BBC Four, but he has also appeared on Channel 4.
Stanhope is no stranger to media controversy. In 2008, the BBC was reprimanded after he described Sarah Palin’s son Trig as ‘retarded’ on 6 Music. And he made the front pages of the Irish Daily Star during the 2006 Kilkenny Comedy Festival, when he was quoted as saying ‘Irish women are too ugly to rape’, a remark he has disputed.