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Frankie Boyle wins libel case

22 October 2012

Comedian Frankie Boyle has won £54,900 in damages after a High Court jury concluded that the Daily Mirror had libelled him by describing him as "racist", the BBC has reported.

He told the court that the paper had defamed him with an article published on 19 July 2011. The Mirror's defence was that the comments were made "on the basis of truth and fair comment" but the jurors did not agree.

Boyle was awarded £50,650 after concluding that the racist description was defamatory. 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". He 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".

Equity, which has a strong policy in favour of the freedomn of artistic expression, has welcomed the judgement.

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