Frankie Boyle is suing the Daily Mirror over an article that called him ‘racist’.
He has told a High Court jury he was ‘very seriously libelled’ by a the article about his possible return to Channel 4, which began: ‘Racist comedian Frankie Boyle could soon be returning to TV despite upsetting thousands of viewers with his sick jokes.’
His barrister David Sherborne said: ‘Calling him vile and offensive is one thing. It goes with the territory. But accusing him of being a racist is an entirely different matter… There is no ambiguity here. Mr Boyle is no racist.’
The original story cited jokes from Tramadol Nights about cancer patients, Aids victims, the disabled and Katie Price’s son Harvey – but no racist jokes.
But in defence, Mirror Group Newspapers says it will use 12 examples of Boyle's jokes, mostly from Tramadol Nights, to show that the racism allegation is true.
Unusually for a libel case, this is being heard by a jury.
Boyle, who has a regular column with the Mirror’s big rival, The Sun, was in court for the start of the trial, expected to take seven days.