Jimmy Carr faces crowd after tax furore

Members of the audience tell the BBC's Colin Paterson what they thought

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Comedian Jimmy Carr has been jokingly heckled at a gig over his tax arrangements but told the crowd he had to take criticism on the chin.

Carr has been widely condemned for taking part in a tax avoidance scheme.

In response to a heckler who called him a "tax dodger", he replied: "I've got to take that, I'm afraid. I've been dishing it out for years."

On taking to the stage at the Stockport Plaza, he said he had had "a busy week" but wanted to perform a normal routine.

"The thing I wanted to say right at the top of the gig was I've been in the papers all week," he told the crowd at the first of two shows at the venue on Friday.

"It obviously produces gags, that's my job. But how about I just do a show for you. What do you think?" he added to cheers.

As the show went on, references to the controversy were peppered throughout the routine, both by Carr himself and members of the crowd.

During a section where he talked to audience members, he exchanged banter with a man who gave his job as a tax inspector, while he started another segment of his "thoughts" with: "Number one - get a new accountant."

'Take my medicine'

At a different point, the comedian said he would "take my medicine" because he had made a mistake.

Finishing the show, Carr thanked the audience and said how nervous he had been beforehand and that he was humbled by the reaction.

BBC entertainment correspondent Colin Paterson said: "It was definitely a warm crowd. The heckling was not vicious - it was good natured. No-one debated with him. There were only smart alec comments.

"He seemed quite emotional at the end. He was quite contrite."

The gig comes a day after Carr said he "made a terrible error of judgement" by using the K2 tax avoidance scheme. He has now ended his involvement in it.

A day earlier, Prime Minister David Cameron called Carr's use of the arrangement "morally wrong".

The K2 tax scheme used by Carr is a way of lowering the amount of tax paid. It is legal and Mr Carr made clear in his statement it was fully disclosed to tax authorities.

In a series of messages on Twitter Carr said it was "obviously a serious matter" and would "conduct my financial affairs much more responsibly" in the future.

More than 1,000 people, including Carr, are thought to be using the Jersey-based K2 scheme, which is said to be sheltering £168m a year from the Treasury.

The latest episode of Carr's TV panel show Eight Out Of Ten Cats was broadcast on Friday.

In response to a jibe from fellow comedian Sean Lock, he said: "I've been dishing it out for years, it's about time I got some."

He added: "I hate to sound like I'm passing the buck, but I'll tell you who I blame for this whole mess - me. It's entirely my fault."

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