Saturday, August 23, 2008

Imam of Dibley

From Adam Sherwin:

Have you heard the one about the Islamic comedy sketch that ITV ordered its latest star to remove? Katy Brand was the victim of humourless lawyers who instructed her to delete a harmless-sounding spoof called The Imam of Dibley.

“It was not intended to be offensive,” says the comedian, whose Katy Brand’s Big Ass Show returns on ITV2. “A new imam arrives in a sleepy parish and the comedy arrives from the misunderstandings that causes. But the lawyers said it might be culturally insensitive.”

It’s no laughing matter, argues Brand, 29, an Oxford theology graduate. “The vast majority of Muslims are able to have a laugh at themselves just like everyone else.

Why should they be excluded from comedy? It’s funny that ITV had no problem with a new sketch about a pregnant Jesus’s girlfriend who has to deal with dating the Son of God.”

Rowan Atkinson has expressed similar concerns about comedy censorship. But Brand is particularly peeved to lose her imam of Dibley. “I really liked the outfit.”

Not only Rowan Atkinson. Ben Elton too has accused the BBC of being too 'scared' to allow jokes about Islam.

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