Comedian held after Murdoch attack

Custard-pie stunt at select committee

Occasional comedian Jonnie Marbles has been arrested after a custard pie attack on Rupert Murdoch during a Commons select committee.

The 80-year-old media mogul was hit with a plate full of shaving foam while giving evidence to the media and culture committee.

Murdoch was protected by his wife Wendi and a female lawyer  who leapt to his defence to protect her husband.

Marbles – whose real name is Jonathan May-Bowles – tweeted before the attack: ‘It is a far better thing that I do now than I have ever done before #splat.’

A known activist with a history of protest stunts, Marbles had been in the session all afternoon, earlier tweeting: ‘I'm actually in this committee and can confirm: Murdoch is Mr. Burns’ and ‘Rupert Murdoch appears to be going senile.’

As he was led away from Portcullis House, Marbles told reporters: 'I'm sure Mr Murdoch will appreciate the irony, but I'm afraid I cannot comment on an ongoing police investigation.'

The hearing was suspended for about 15 minutes following the attack, and the public were not allowed in when it resumed. Mr Murdoch was praised for MPs for his bravery in returning to the questioning, while Tom Watson MP joked: 'Mr Murdoch, your wife has a good left hook.'

However, fellow comedians were unhappy that the custard-pie incident became a distraction from the allegations against News Corps.

Marcus Brigstocke said: ‘This fucking idiot has probably just changed the news agenda. Fuck you Johnnie Marbles you asshole

Daniel Maier called him an ‘infantile attention-seeking tosspocket’ and Nick Doody said: ‘Brilliant. Now the story is that Rupert Murdoch is extraordinarily brave. Thanks.’

And UK Uncut, the protest group Marbles helped set up, said the attack was not an action they sanctioned.

The 26-year-old, from Croydon, has apparently been involved in protests over Heathrow and London City airports and at the Copenhagen climate change conference, and sit-ins at Vodafone and TopShop.

Here is footage of Marbles doing a comedy set:

Published: 19 Jul 2011

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