You say I was at an awards bash? I'll sue!

Stewart Lee takes issue with Metro

Stewart Lee has demanded a retraction from the Metro newspaper – for claiming he attended the British Comedy Awards.

Reporting on Michael McIntyre comments that he had been hurt by the ‘hostility’ he received from other comedians, the paper claimed Lee’s jibes ‘left him feeling confused and hurt at the awards ceremony’.

However Lee was outraged at the idea he would attend the TV bash – and fired off a letter to the editor threatening legal action.

He said he hadn’t been to a British Comedy Awards ceremony since 1992, and suggested: ‘Perhaps it was golfer Darren Clarke. or General Ratko Mladic, both of whom I am often mistaken for.’

He added: ‘It is offensive to suggest that I would attend The British Comedy Awards and I will be considering legal action unless you print this. Check your facts, fools.’

The reference to Lee has since been removed from Metro's online version of the story. Lee has indeed said McIntyre ‘spoon-fed his audience warm diarrhoea’ – but as part of his stand-up show, not at the comedy awards.’

McIntyre was named best stand-up at the 2009 awards, when host Jonathan Ross joked: ‘Swine flu is like a Michael McIntyre DVD... you’ll all be getting it this Christmas but it’s actually very, very mild.’

McIntyre was not at this year’s ceremony as he was busy judging performers on Britain’s Got Talent. Miranda Hart, Simon Amstell and Robert Webb were among butts of jokes at this year’s Comedy Awards, but have not complained about their treatment.

Meanwhile, the Daily Mail’s Jan Moir has today written about the ‘barrage of spiteful jokes’ at the expense of a ‘happily- married, middle-class chap from Hampstead’ from the ‘usual cabal of foul-mouthed Left-wing comics.

She said: ‘Their devious resolve and bottomless capacity for nastiness reveals what deeply unpleasant people they are.

‘It is just another indication that there is something rotten at the heart of the comedy industry and its practitioners in this country. Yes, it is meant to be a bit of a laugh, but instead we are increasingly confronted by a slime-pit of bitterness and vaunting unpleasantness.’

In 2009, Moir was named ‘bigot of the year’ for her column about the death of Boyzone singer Stephen Gately, which was accused of homophobia.

Published: 19 Jul 2011

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