Graham Linehan Fringe show cancelled over comedian's gender views

Bosses at Leith Arches said they would not allow the Father Ted creator's views to 'violate' the venue after cancelling the show.

Graham Linehan stand up show cancelled by Leith venue over comedian’s gender views Getty Images

A stand up comedy show featuring Father Ted creator Graham Linehan during the Edinburgh Fringe has been cancelled after a series of complaints to the venue.

Leith Arches said it would not allow the Comedy Unleashed show to take place on Thursday evening due to the writer’s outspoken views on gender issues.

Bosses at the event space said they were previously uninformed about who would feature in the showcase – which describes itself as a “home for free-thinking comedy” and promises a return to “edgy” material.

The decision was criticised by promoter and GB News presenter Andrew Doyle.

It comes just days after SNP MP Joanna Cherry’s festival show at The Stand comedy club in the capital went ahead after the politician threatened legal action against the venue when it initially pulled the plug on the performance in May.

Linehan has been heavily criticised for his remarks on gender issues and had his Twitter account suspended in 2020 after thousands of complaints.

He began his stand-up career in February in East London and was due to make his Fringe debut on the mixed bill.

But in a statement published on social media, the venue said it would “not allow [Linehan] to violate our space”.

“We do not support this comedian, or his views, and he will not be allowed to perform at our venue and is cancelled from Thursday’s performance with immediate effect,” they added.

“An outside organiser was responsible for the line up and we were unaware as to who was performing until now.

“We are an inclusive venue and will not allow such views to violate our space.”

Last summer The Pleasance cancelled comic Jerry Sadowitz’s show after complaints from staff and walkouts by some of the audience.

Cherry’s “in conversation with” event went ahead as planned on Sunday, but only after metal detectors and bag checks were installed at the venue.

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