Frankie Boyle will not return to Channel 4, says comedy boss

Phil Clarke says he is now after more narrative comedy with subtlety and nuance - and not comedy that is "shocking for its own sake"

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Frankie Boyle will not return to Channel 4, says comedy boss
Written By
Ben Dowell

Frankie Boyle, the outspoken and acerbic comedian will not be returning to his old stomping ground of Channel 4.

The comedian, who was a mainstay of C4's comedy output but has not appeared on C4 in his own series since 2010 following a series of controversies, is not in the plans of C4's comedy head Phil Clarke.

In an exclusive interview with RadioTimes.com, Clarke reveals he is on a mission to complement the current output with comedy which is less “big joke” (in Clarke’s words) and has "nuance" and "subtlety" in a move which finally plunges the final nail in the coffin for Frankie Boyle C4's future.

“We are going in a different direction… we are after wittier pieces, and he is not really narrative comedy,” says Clarke who became head of Channel 4 comedy at the beginning of last year.

Speaking about the subject of shocking comedy generally, Clarke added: “People are used to being shocked. If you try and shock people you are on a hiding to nothing. There are some things in our comedy we want to say can they do that but it is not about shocking for its own sake.

 “You can make a joke about anything is the first question. The next question is why are you making a joke.”

Boyle's last series was the acerbic Frankie Boyle's Tramadol Nights for Channel 4 in 2010. The show was not recommissioned and Channel 4 dropped Boyle following outrage provoked by a series of jokes about Paralympic athletes on Twitter in August 2012.

Channel 4 declined to officially back or condemn Boyle after the protests over the comments which were made on his personal Twitter account but appeared to embarrass Channel 4, which was broadcasting the Paralympics exclusively for television.

Ofcom also ruled in 2011 that comments made by Boyle about Katie Price's disabled son "had considerable potential to be highly offensive" and were in breach of the broadcasting code.

Shane Allen, the former head of C4 comedy who joined the BBC in 2012, has said that he hopes to find a suitable vehicle for Boyle at the Corporation, although so far no commissions have been forthcoming.


 

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