Dara Ó Briain has shared his thoughts about the changing circuit of comedy as he issued an apology to Gabby Logan, who was once at the centre of a “transvestite” joke on his BBC comedy show Mock the Week.
Comedian Dara, 51, and Gabby, 50, discussed how such jokes would not be deemed funny nowadays, as he admitted he couldn’t believe it was ever acceptable.
In a game entitled Things You Didn’t Hear at the Olympics during an episode in 2008, comedian Frankie Boyle said of the presenter: “Next, over to Gabby Logan who is going to tell us whether or not she’s a transvestite”, before going on to quip that she had “man hands”.
15 years on from the moment, Gabby said she wasn’t bothered “at all” by his comments, but doesn’t think it would be appropiate in this day and age.
Agreeing, Dara added: “It absolutely wouldn’t. I don’t think even Frankie would do a joke like that now. I think we’re just a lot more aware of who the joke is on, which we weren’t.
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“Frankie’s era, that time, was 14 years ago. There’s a whole half a generation has passed, and I think tastes have changed enormously… It was just that time.”
He went on to say on Gabby’s Midpoint podcast: “I’m not going to give us any free passes on this. I was there.
“It’s really interesting what we thought was acceptable.
“I obviously apologise for any hurt caused. I think there was stuff that was said that you simply wouldn’t do now.”
The BBC pulled the plug on the show last year after 17 years on-air.
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In a statement at the time, Dara said: “The storylines were getting crazier and crazier – global pandemics, divorce from Europe, novelty short-term prime ministers. We just couldn’t be more silly than the news was already.”
Co-creator Dan Patterson said the news was “deeply disappointing” and that he hoped the show would “resurface again soon”.
Earlier this year, the corporation also pulled the plug on Frankie’s show, New World Order, after six seasons.
The show featured the host dissecting the latest news using stand-up, review, discussion, and audience interaction.
After learning the news, Frankie wrote on social media: “Ah well, there’s to be no more New World Order on the BBC.
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“Not surprising in the current climate, I suppose. Just very grateful to have had six series of working with the funniest people in the business.”
The BBC added: “We would like to thank Frankie Boyle and all those involved for six great series of New World Order, and we look forward to seeing what he does next on the BBC.”
Shortly after the news was announced in 2022, Frankie came under fire for making a joke about Holly Willoughby which he later addressed at his book launch.
He explained the joke was part of “a very long routine about whether or not it’s okay to do a joke about that, and I look at it from both sides, there are pluses and minuses”.
Frankie went on to say that the power of comedy is in the “eye of the beholder”.
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