Off the Boyle

C4 'to drop' Frankie over his Paralympic jokes

Channel 4 are said to be severing their ties with Frankie Boyle after he made jokes about Paralympic athletes.

The comic sparked controversy in the press when he branded Saudi amputees ‘thieves’ and joked about a British high jumper being blown up by the Taliban.

In another message he posted to Twitter during the opening ceremony, he said: ‘I'm going down to the blind football to shout that the referee's a deaf bastard.’

But it has been reported that his comments have been poorly received by executives at Channel 4, who paid £9million for the rights to the Games. It’s believed they feel Boyle’s gags are out of step with the national mood.

An unnamed source at the station told the Daily Mirror: ‘We will wash our hands of Frankie now.’

A spokesman said: ‘He is not under contract with Channel 4 and we don't have any shows planned with him.’

One of his tweets said: ‘Sadly our Paralympian in the high jump isn’t expected to match his personal best. But I hear it doesn’t count as it was Taliban assisted.’

In another comment to his million followers, he wrote: ‘Wow, Austrian Paralympians seem a lot more able-bodied than most regular Scottish people.’

Boyle’s chief ally at the station was head of comedy Shane Allen, but earlier this month it was announced that he is leaving for the BBC.

Boyle fronted an alternative variety show for Channel 4 last week, which attracted just over a million viewers.

Dan Scorer of charity Mencap praised Channel 4’s ‘commitment to disability programming’ but added: ‘It would be disappointing if these steps were undermined by providing a comedian who has repeatedly caused profound offence to ­disabled people opportunities to do so again.’

Published: 31 Aug 2012

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