YOU could write what the BBC knows about comedy these days on the back of a postage stamp.
And sadly, it seems their radar is completely off yet again.
This time the clever clogs over at BBC HQ have decided it’s appropriate to rebook a comedian who, last time out, made jokes about blowing up political supporters for a cheap laugh.
Edgy maybe, but not exactly an appropriate booking in the immediate aftermath of the killing of Tory MP Sir David Amess.
Fin Taylor, who describes himself as ‘anti-woke’, will appear on Have I Got News For You on Friday night despite causing a backlash last time around.
The funnyman ran into trouble on the satirical show when he made a gag about murdering Jeremy Corbyn supporters and fans of music legend Bob Dylan.
He said: “People think that Bob Dylan’s the greatest musician that ever lived, and you listen to some of it and it’s awful.
“But then people are so dogmatic and say he’s the greatest musician.
“People who like Corbyn, it’s what, 200,000 people in the Labour party that are fanatics? So all you’ve got to do next year is bomb Glastonbury.
"Hopefully Dylan’s headlining: two birds, one stone.”
After his remarks, team captain Ian Hislop said to the comic: “Well, that’s the end of your career.”
The BBC said at the time: “After more than 30 years on air, Have I Got News For You is a well-established comedy series that has built a reputation for irreverent humour and satire.
“It was clear that comedian Fin Taylor was talking about an utterly absurd scenario, in which he compared Jeremy Corbyn to Bob Dylan, and was in no way whatsoever to be taken seriously.”
The BBC has embarked on a drive to feature more “right-wing” comedians to counter a perceived bias in the broadcaster’s comedy output, exacerbated by the likes of Nish Kumar.
But it doesn’t really matter whether the comedian is left-wing, right-wing, or an actual bird with two wings – if they cross the line of decency surely they’ve no place on the box.
DINNER IS SERVED IN STATES
FRIDAY Night Dinner is one of Britain’s best-loved shows.
So it’s no surprise its makers are to remake the cult classic for a US audience.
The brains behind the programme, Big Talk Productions, also plan to give the BBC show’s Mum a makeover, with The Big Bang Theory’s Laurie Metcalfe set to take on Lesley Manville's lead role.
After Friday Night Dinner’s Paul Ritter tragically died in April this year, bosses felt it was right to draw the show to a close.
So let’s hope these classics are handled with care.
In the meantime, Big Talk Productions’ latest offering, Stephen Merchant'sThe Outlaws, is making waves on the BBC.
EM GOES ON 'POOL
LIVERPOOL lads will be thrilled to hear I’m A Celeb star Emily Atack's news.
She told the Life’s a Beach podcast: “There is nothing I love more than meeting boys on holiday. And it’s always Scousers.
"They become the most important things to you in that week.”
Emily is not long back from Marbella – so let’s assume that somewhere out there is a Scouser still wearing a massive grin.
DE NIRO’S EPIC FAYL
AS a young wannabe, Cold Feet star Fay Ripley ended up on the cutting room floor after her role as a prostitute was axed from the 1994 film Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein.
Fay told Rob Brydon that when the movie’s star – Robert De Niro – asked what she thought of his scene, she replied: “Perhaps you should speak up a bit.”
It was “possibly why I was cut”, she admitted to Brydon.
CORRIE IN CROPPER ROLE VOW
THE role of Hayley Cropper on Coronation Street changed the face of British TV forever.
As the first transgender character ever included on a soap, many saw the move as progressive.
But Damon Rochefort, who has been a scriptwriter on the show for 20 years, has declared they would never cast a straight actor to play a trans character again.
Julie Hesmondhalgh won a clutch of awards in her time as Hayley.
Damon said: “I was not on the show when Hayley came on and it was first presented as a bit of a joke like, ‘Ooh, we are setting Roy up with this girl from the factory’, the punchline being ‘Ooh, she is actually a fella’.
That was kind of the tone but they always had the long-term plan to show real life.
“But Julie would say now ‘There is no way on earth, no way’.
“We were ignorant back then but we have to give her kudos because she made it.”
Damon went on: “Julie talked to a lot of trans people throughout that process as she was on the show for 16 years but she would tell you right now that there is no way that would happen these days.”
CLAIRE IS A DOUBLE DUCHESS
SHE’S best-known for playing The Queen in Netflix’s The Crown – and Claire Foy adopts a similar look as a member of the nobility in A Very British Scandal.
But Paul Bettany is unrecognisable from his biggest role as superhero Vision in the X-Men movies.
In the BBC1 drama, the duo are the Duke and Duchess of Argyle.
It retells the true story of one of the most shameful examples of public slut-shaming in history.
Claire plays the glam aristocrat who had her sexual appetite exposed in a bitter divorce case in 1963.
It’s a world away from playing Her Majesty.
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