Tim Minchin has told an audience ‘I hope my daughter dies in a car crash tomorrow’.
He wished the tragedy upon his five-year-old daughter Violet to make the point that the idea of tempting fate is nothing but harmful superstition.
The comedian added that his comment ‘seems hard’, but told the audience at the Hay festival: ‘It doesn’t mean anything. No one here thinks I mean that. I’m not going to manifest it.
‘Superstition is something that one should divest oneself of. It’s not helpful, and often it’s harmful.’
‘I always say to people when they get on a plane, “Don’t have a plane crash!” There’s a sense that the odds might be higher, but there’s no way that can be the case.’
‘It’s incredibly empowering to get rid of superstition. It’s deep within us because we’re megalomaniacs – we think we can make a plane crash with our words.’
His comments were reported by festival sponsor The Daily Telegraph, although not all of its readers seemed to agree with the message. One reader posted on the newspaper’s website: ‘Mr Minchin, there's a lot going on that we can't explain - be careful, very careful.’