Italian ex-comedian Beppe Grillo
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Do politics and comedy go together?

Ex-comedian Beppe Grillo has gained huge success in Italian politics in recent weeks because he is funny. But do politics and comedy always go together?

Labour MP Stephen Pound told the Today programme that in Italy Grillo's success is "more of an anti-politics thing", saying that in this country a un-funny or poorly timed jokes have doomed politicians "for the rest of their lives". He added that in this country "people want individuals but they will not vote for individuals."

Ex-Liberal Democrat leader Charles Kennedy told the Today programme that a politician is in trouble if their reputation is "founded just on wit". Mr Kennedy added that he cut his comedy political teeth on the Today programme 30 years ago, in what became known as the "Critch, Mitch and Titch" trio.

First broadcast on BBC Radio 4's Today programme on Saturday 2 March 2013.

  • 02 Mar 2013
  • From the section UK