Get your writs out out

Flanagan may sue over 118 118 ads

Stand-up Micky Flanagan is considering suing directory enquiry company 118 118 – claiming they stole his ‘out, out’ catchphrase for its TV adverts.

His agent Christian Knowles has already complained to the Advertising Standards Authority that the commercial in which an animated character talks about going ‘out, out’ ripped off his stand-up routine.

But the ASA said such copyright claims were beyond its remit, prompting Knowles to consider legal action.

He said: ‘I have watched the 118 118 and Micky's clip on YouTube back to back umpteen times and I genuinely believe they have taken it and lifted it.

‘We are considering legal action and we wouldn't have taken it to the ASA if we didn't think we had a legitimate complaint. We have to make a stand.’

However, 118 118 said Flanagan did not invent the idea of going ‘out out’ and that the idea of repeating words reinforced the repetition in its own number.

A spokesman said: ‘While Mr Flanagan's act is very funny, he himself admits that he did not invent the idea of a distinction between “going out” and “going out out”, which is a common and widely used expression.’

Compare the two here:

Published: 12 Nov 2009

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