Reid faces racism probe

Comic accused over Muslim gags

Mike Reid could face prosecution over anti-Muslim jokes he reportedly cracked on stage

Police are investigating complaints that the comic and ex-EastEnders star broke new religious hatred laws drafted after September 11.

Reid, 62, said the claims were 'ridiculous'.

His agent Tony Lewis told The Mail on Sunday: "I have never heard anything so petty. Those jokes are funny - I've never heard him make a racist one."

The complaint comes from 23-year-old politics graduate Helen Kirrane, from Greater Manchester, who saw Reid in Chatham, Kent.

She said he made jokes about Muslims being told to bungee jump without elastic, and working as strippers.

She said: "It was like listening to the ranting of a racist dinosaur. Anti-Muslim jokes are disgusting, as are all racist jokes.

"The police said it was something they would take seriously."

When the Anti-Terrorism, Crime and Security Act was passed in 2001, comedians claimed it would restrict freedom of expression.

At the time, Rowan Atkinson said: "I am aghast at the notion that it could, in effect, be made illegal to imply ridicule of a religion or to lampoon religious figures."

Kent police confirmed that they were investigating the complaint, but said it was to early to say if any charges would follow.

Published: 26 Oct 2002

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