Jimmy Carr is backed by Channel 4 bosses with a game show renewal

‘If they can’t make offensive jokes, comedy is dead’: Jimmy Carr is backed by Channel 4 bosses with a game show renewal – after he sparked outrage with Holocaust gag

  • Jimmy is set to front another series of his game show I ­Literally Just Told You on Channel 4 
  • In a widely-shared clip from his Netflix show His Dark Material, Jimmy joked about the horror of the Holocaust and ‘six million Jewish lives being lost’ 
  • As a punchline, he then made a disparaging remark about the deaths of thousands of gypsies at the hands of the Nazis 

Channel 4 bosses have backed Jimmy Carr after he sparked outrage with a joke about the Holocaust, as they announced he’ll front another series of his game show I ­Literally Just Told You.

The broadcaster confirmed the comic will host another eight episodes of the series, which first aired last year, despite calls for him to be ‘cancelled’ in the wake of his controversial gaffe.

Jimmy, 49, sparked criticism over a clip from his Netflix special His Dark Material, which saw him joke that the ‘thousands of gypsies killed by the Nazis’ was a ‘positive’ effect of the Holocaust.  

Defending: Channel 4 bosses have backed Jimmy Carr after he sparked outrage with a joke about the Holocaust, as they announced he’ll front another series of I ­Literally Just Told You

In an interview with Broadcast magazine, Channel 4 chief Ian Katz backed Jimmy’s controversial humour, saying: ‘I defend the rights of com­edians to make offensive jokes and if they can’t, then comedy is dead.’ 

‘Jimmy hasn’t espoused any views at odds with C4 values and just as we as a broadcaster exist to serve and represent a wide range of communities, we should always be home to the widest range of voices.’

Ian went onto note that Channel 4 wouldn’t have aired Jimmy’s Holocaust joke on their network because it would fall foul of Ofcom rules.

Back to work: The broadcaster confirmed the comic will host another eight episodes of the series, which first aired last year, despite calls for him to be ‘cancelled’

He added: ‘The Ofcom code states that material which may cause offence has to be justified by clear context and we make those calls day in, day out. It’s really hard to generalise but you look at each show on its merits.’ 

I Literally Just Told You sees contestants tasked with noting any and all things they see and hear from other contestants, as they may become questions later in the programme.

The new series will also include two celebrity specials. 

Shocking: Jimmy sparked criticism over a clip from his Netflix special, which saw him joke that the ‘thousands of gypsies killed by the Nazis’ was a ‘positive’ effect of the Holocaust

In a widely-shared clip from his Netflix show, Jimmy joked about the horror of the Holocaust and ‘six million Jewish lives being lost’. 

As a punchline, he then made a disparaging remark about the deaths of thousands of gypsies at the hands of the Nazis.

‘But they never mention the thousands of gypsies that were killed by the Nazis. No one ever wants to talk about that, because no one ever wants to talk about the positives,’ Carr quipped to a laughing audience.

But the joke has caused widespread backlash elsewhere and prompted a debate about racism and free speech.

Jimmy left the joke out of his live comedy show in Cambridge after the council said it would light up the venue in the colours of the Romani flag.

His management was said to have ‘assured’ Cambridge city councillors that no material from the show will feature at the gig at the Corn Exchange.

Outrage: The joke has caused widespread backlash elsewhere and prompted a debate about racism and free speech

Jewish comedian David Baddiel, 57, was among swathes of other people to slam Jimmy over the gag.

David said: ‘You can obviously tell a Holocaust joke that is cruel and inhumane and mean-spirited and racist.

‘Or you can tell one that targets the oppressors, or draws attention to the fundamental evil of it, or shines and light on the humanity of the victims.

‘It’s not the subject matter of the joke that counts, it’s the specifics of the individual joke. Clearly, Jimmy Carr’s was the former.’

Meanwhile, Conservative MP and Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries told BBC News that the gag was ‘abhorrent’. 

‘Inhumane’: Jewish comedian David Baddiel, 57, was among swathes of other people to slam Jimmy over the gag

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