The top comedy stories of 2011

What you've been reading on Chortle

In 2011, Chortle attracted 1.7million visitors, racking up almost 10million page views. Here are the most-read stories of the year.

1. Stewart Lee: What I really think about Michael McIntyre
A piece Stewart Lee wrote in July after newspapers tried to whip up a storm over his joke that the Comedy Roadshow star's style of comedy was ‘spoon-feeding his audience warm diarrhoea’.

2. Anger at HIGNFY's Mecca joke
Some Muslims urged a protest at the BBC in June after Sharon Horgan, hosting Have I Got News For You joked ‘The Independent described the Dostoevsky metro station… as the Mecca for suicides. Not to be confused with the Mecca of suicide bombers – which is Mecca.’

3. Atheists are as big a threat as climate change deniers.
In conversation with the Archbishop of Canterbury in September, Frank Skinner compared atheists with climate sceptics, saying: 'Atheists we might see as people like those who deny global warming. You might celebrate their right, and defend their freedom of speech, to deny global warming – but if they're wrong, and millions of other people have taken their view, then it could end in a terrible, terrible disaster for a lot of people.’

4. Review of Peter Kay's Tour That Doesn't Tour Tour
Although reviewed at the MEN Arena when it all begin in April 2010, the fact Peter Kay's tour extended right through until the end of this year, meant fans were still seeking out information about the show.

5. Russell Howard breaks his fingers
The BBC Three star injured his hand while recording Russell Howard's Good News last month

6. That's the end of IT
In an interview with Chortle in May, writer Graham Lineham revealed that the IT Crowd was coming to an end

7. Book review: Frankie Boyle's Work: Consume Die
From October

8. Bad news for Come Fly With Me
…after Jim Davidson came out in support of Matt Lucas and David Walliams's BBC One show when it was accused of being racist back in January.

9. Patrice O'Neal suffers stroke
The American comedian was hit in October, at the age of 41. Sadly he died a month later.

10. BBC shelves Clarkson's QI show
Just before Christmas, the BBC pulled an episode of the panel show which was to feature the Top Gear star, amid the storm created by his joke that public sector strikers should be shot in front of their families.

Other big stories included Michael McIntyre confessing he was hurt by criticism; the results of the Chortle Awards, ITV pulling Tim Minchin's Christmas song from the Jonathan Ross Show; the row over Ricky Gervais's casual use of the word 'mong'; the twitter 'feud' between Mark Watson and Frankie Boyle; and Graham Linehan's hoax that tapes from Osama Bin Laden's compound included footage of him watching the IT Crowd.

Published: 29 Dec 2011

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