Not such a rip-off...

Tavare apologises over plagiarism claims

After sparking a transatlantic row over plagiarism, stand-up Jim Tavare has conceded that musical comedian Sid Bowfin probably didn’t rip him off.

Tavare claimed on Chortle, and to his Twitter followers, that Bowfin had stolen the look and feel of his long-established act after watching a clip on YouTube.

Both comics appear on stage, bald and in long-tailed jacked, and with a string instrument they are slow to get around to playing, which Tavare said could lead to confusion. He even claimed Bowfin had stolen his website design.

However, Tavare’s main claim was that a routine involving a faulty microphone was too close to his own. But Bowfin – real name Adrian Garratt - said he was improvising when faced with genuinely malfunctioning equipment, and that the footage posted online was not typical of every performance.

Tavare’s comments, which were also carried on the American website Punchline, caused widespread criticism of Garratt, who has recently gone solo after a career with classical music comedy troupe Pluck.

In a new statement released today, Tavare said: ‘My suspicions of Adrian plagiarising my look and aspects of my act were based on watching this clip. I also pointed out strong similarities between his website and my own, and posted my views on Twitter.

‘There are other aspects of this performer’s career, such as his role in Pluck, which do not bear any similarity to my act. I made this clear throughout, but hope it was understood that such material should not to be confused with my original complaint.

‘I acknowledge that a large proportion of Adrian's performances do not reflect the same similarities to my act as seen in the clip. Adrian claims the performance in the nine-minute clip and other similarities, including website design, are all unfortunate coincidence - routines like the 'faulty mic' were a one-off and not normally part of his set. With the larger proportion of Adrian's act not being similar to my own, I believe it is only fair to accept his word on this.

‘I am aware of the fact that public bad feeling towards Adrian reached unreasonably high levels as a result of my airing my views on Twitter, and for this I apologise. I wish Adrian well in his career.’

Tavare’s wife and manager Laura added that: ‘It is acknowledged that the concerns could have been resolved far easier and with less bad feeling if it had not been raised so publicly to begin with.'

Garratt told Chortle: ‘I’m grateful that Jim’s apologised, and I’ve been in contact by email to tell him so.’

Published: 7 Jul 2011

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