BBC defends Jo Brand’s “battery acid” joke

The comedian seemed to suggest that protestors should have thrown 'battery acid' rather than milkshake over Nigel Farage

Have I Got News For You host Jo Brand  (Hat Trick - Photographer: Richard Kendal)

The BBC has said that Jo Brand’s recent ‘battery acid’ comments on a Radio 4 show were “not intended to be taken seriously,” following suggestions that she incited violence.


Brand, who was speaking on Radio 4’s Heresy after protesters threw milkshake over Nigel Farage and several far-right European election candidates, including UKIP’s Tommy Robinson, said: “Why bother with a milkshake when you could get some battery acid?”

She continued: “That’s just me. I’m not going to do it. It’s purely a fantasy, but I think milkshakes are pathetic, I honestly do, sorry.”

In a statement, the BBC has said that the comments made on Heresy were “deliberately provocative” but not to be taken seriously.

“Heresy is a long-running comedy programme where, as the title implies and as our listeners know, panellists often say things which are deliberately provocative and go against societal norms but are not intended to be taken seriously,” a BBC spokesperson said.

However, Farage has claimed that the comment was an “incitement of violence” and that “the police need to act,” while Piers Morgan said the comments were “disgusting”.

However, various other public figures, including Only Connect’s Victoria Coren Mitchell, have defended Brand.

“Nigel! I’m genuinely disappointed; we don’t agree on everything, but I would totally have had you down as a free speech man. Especially when it comes to jokes,” Cohen Mitchell wrote on Twitter.


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