Frankie Boyle slammed by feminist campaign group for making joke about raping Holly Willoughby

The Scottish comedian has argued that comedy is in the eye of the beholder, and that he no longer posts jokes on Twitter


Frankie Boyle has come under fire for making a joke about raping and killing tv star Holly Willoughby.

The Scottish comedian, 49, made a series of extreme jokes in a set at the Latitude Festival in Sussex.

One of these included a game he described as "killing and sh******" people, where he remarked about Holly Willoughby: "I’d obviously kill her and rape her afterwards. I’m joking – I’d rape her first."

Appearing at a Waterstones to launch his new book Meantime, Boyle was quizzed by an audience member on the joke.

Frankie Boyle
Frankie Boyle

He responded with: "‘Can I just say, my routine about raping and f*****g Holly Willoughby was part of a very long routine about whether or not it’s okay to do a joke about that, and I look at it from both sides, there are pluses and minuses."

A spokeswoman for the feminist campaign group FiLiA said: ‘We are horrified that some men in the entertainment industry continue to consider the abuse of women to be comedy material.

"Seeking cheap applause at the expense of traumatising women speaks of low-quality material.

"There is nothing funny about male violence. Women and girls around the country are not laughing.

"Instead, women are angry and scared for their safety."

Boyle has previously been criticised for joking about Harvey Price, and the BBC had to cut part of his set which contained what it deemed as offensive jokes about Kate Middleton.

He recently told Katherine Ryan that he is now afraid to tweet his offensive jokes for fear of social media backlash

But in 2020, Boyle called out Ricky Gervais for what he saw as "lazy" jokes about transgender people.

Boyle urged the Afterlife star to have the same respect for trans people as he has for animals.

Caroline Nokes, who went to the same university as Boyle, also told The Mail on Sunday: ‘The Frankie Boyle I was at university with wouldn’t have found rape funny.

"It never is, and I’m disappointed that anyone would try to make a joke out of male sexual violence."