Plagiarism row comic threatens to sue

Sid Bowfin hits back at Jim Tavare claims

The comedian accused of stealing Jim Tavare’s stage persona says he might sue over the claims.

Sid Bowfin says he has not ruled out legal action if Tavare ‘escalates’ his campaign highlighting the similarities between their acts.

And he insisted the similarities are a coincidence, saying: ‘Everything he is said is false. I don't believe I have done anything wrong.

'I am absolutely against plagiarism. I never steal anybody else's material.’

Earlier this week Tavare said it was ‘time to speak out’ over what he believed was the theft of his image.

Both comics appear on stage, bald and in long-tailed jacked, and with a string instrument they are slow to get around to playing it.

And although Tavare was not accusing Bowfin - whose real name is Adrian Garratt – of stealing any precise lines, he was particularly incensed by footage of Bowfin performing a routine involving a supposedly faulty microphone, as he too has a routine based around malfunctioning equipment.

Garratt has now come forward to say he had never seen the Tavare sketch in question, and says their image is the same because he grew up as a classical musician.

He said he ‘understands Jim's predicament’ but says Tavare should have tried to sort things out privately before going public. Garratt added that he intended to make contact privately to sort out the dispute – until he realised Tavare himself ‘was so instrumental in fuelling it’.

He now wants Tavare to apologise – and if not, says he has not ruled out legal action.

In comments on Chortle and Twitter last week Tavare even accused Garratt of stealing his website design, and claimed that a routine which Garratt 'plays' a dustpan and brush was inspired by his own joke with a vacuum cleaner

It has also been pointed out that Garratt’s solution to his technical problems – of gaffer-taping his microphone to his head – is similar to a visual gag William Andrews has performed in his Edinburgh shows.

Tavare has been performing on the circuit since the Eighties, and was nominated for the Perrier Award at the Edinburgh Fringe in 1990. He appeared on the Royal Variety Show in 1992 and 1994 and 1998.

Bowfin founded the comedy classical music group Pluck in 2002, but left two years ago to perform the solo act. Pluck won the Tap Water Award for cabaret in 2003 and the Spirit Of The Fringe award the following year.

Here is a clip of Jim Tavare:

And here is the footage of Sid Bowfin that provoked Tavare into action:

Published: 26 Jun 2011

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