Entertainment & Arts

Boyle wins £54,650 in 'racism' libel case

Frankie Boyle
The comedian is known for his controversial humour.

Comedian Frankie Boyle has won £54,650 in damages after a High Court jury concluded that the Daily Mirror had libelled him by describing him as "racist".

Boyle, 40, from Glasgow, said the paper had defamed him with an article published on 19 July 2011.

Daily Mirror publisher Mirror Group Newspapers (MGN) defended the piece "on the basis of truth and fair comment".

However jurors ruled in favour of Boyle.

The comedian said he was "very happy" as he left court.

Jurors awarded Boyle £50,400 after concluding that the racist description was defamatory.

Jurors had been shown footage from the BBC satirical show Mock The Week, in which Boyle and other comedians discussed immigration.

He was given further damages of £4,250 after the jury found the Mirror's report saying Boyle had been "forced to quit" Mock the Week was defamatory.

The comedian said The Daily Mirror newspaper had "misunderstood" the context of his use of language in jokes, adding the accusation of racism "goes against everything I've tried to do in my work, to do in my life".

The Glasgow-born comedian said he had been "pretending" to be someone with racist views during the episode.

He said he had "actively campaigned" against racism and he thought it was "important" to highlight the issue in his routines by mocking the attitudes of racists, whom he "despised".

The comedian's humour has often proved controversial with audiences.

Last year, broadcasting watchdog Ofcom upheld more than 500 complaints about his Channel 4 show Tramadol nights, during which he joked about model Katie Price's disabled son, Harvey.

In 2008, the BBC apologised when Boyle made a joke about Palestine on the Radio 4 comedy show Political Animal.

A year after that, BBC Two's Mock The Week was criticised by the BBC Trust over comments Boyle made on the show about swimmer Rebecca Adlington's appearance.

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