Andrew Doyle goes on an ‘anti-woke’ tour : News 2019 : Chortle : The UK Comedy Guide

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With neocon writer Douglas Murray

Comedian Andrew Doyle is to tour with right-wing journalist Douglas Murray with a show attacking politically correct ‘woke’ culture.

The stand-up – who is behind the parody Twitter persona Titania McGrath and co-creator of the Jonathan Pie character – will be taking on the social justice movement, which is described as ‘a kind of cult’ in the blurb for the show.

Resisting Wokeness will play 11 dates next summer, including London’s 4,000-seat Eventim Apollo.

Murray has argued in favour of neo-conservative writer and is a frequent critic of Islam. His 2017 book  The Strange Death of Europe: Immigration, Identity, Islam was described as ‘a tale of uncontrolled immigration, failed multiculturalism, systemic self-doubt, cultural suicide and disingenuous political leadership’ – and attracted criticism for suggesting that the far-right English Defence League ‘had a point’.

Earlier this week, Chortle reported how Doyle admitted to writing a notorious article which slated the stand-up circuit as a hotbed of racism and sexism, and calling for comedians to be prosecuted under hate speech laws.

The piece caused controversy when it was published by The Independent in February. It was allegedly written by a new comedian called Liam Evans who described how appalled he was at material he’d heard on stage.

Now Doyle has confessed it was a hoax that he created to expose how ‘social justice ideology’ has ‘infected’ mainstream media.

At the time, Stewart Lee and Kevin Eldon were among those who wrote to The Independent’s executive editor, Will Gore, demanding to know what checks had been carried out on the writer, who they accused of being a fake.

Yesterday a spokesperson for The Independent said: ‘This article was published 10 months ago, and this issue has not been raised before.’

However Chortle has seen emails from Gore in which he says: ‘I’m confident he has done some comedy…. I’ve no reason to think Liam isn’t a real person… The suggestion I have seen elsewhere that it is so outlandish that it must be false, is bizarre. I also reject absolutely the notion that this was “fake news”.’

When challenged on this, The Independent spokesperson said: ‘I do not dispute that Stewart Lee raised concerns with our piece back when it was published. However he did not raise the same issue which you raised to us yesterday. It has never been suggested to us that a specific named comedian – namely, Andrew Doyle – was “behind” an alleged “hoax” of this publication.’

The original article was changed in February to call the Evans a comedy ‘aficionado’ rather than a comedian. However it remains online with no acknowledgment that the whole piece is a fiction concocted by Doyle.

As well as the Resisting Wokeness tour, Doyle will be taking part in the Chortle Comedy Book Festival at the British Library on January 19, discussing the issue of ‘wokeness’ and freedom of speech in comedy with journalist Yasmin Alibhai-Brown, author of In Defence of Political Correctness.

Published: 13 Dec 2019

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