Jo Brand speaks out on ‘very difficult’ time after Nigel Farage battery acid joke backlash

Jo Brand: Why bother with milkshake when there’s battery acid

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Comedian Jo Brand, 64, has given a candid insight into how the backlash over her Nigel Farage battery acid joke impacted her personally at the time. Jo faced outrage in 2019 when she joked about the moment Farage was hit with a milkshake. 

The comic had said in response: “Why bother with a milkshake when you could get some battery acid?

“That’s just me. I’m not going to do it. 

“It’s purely a fantasy, but I think milkshakes are pathetic, I honestly do, sorry.”

Although Jo believes comedians should be given a “pass” over controversial jokes, she admitted she “wishes” the comedy talk show Heresy, which aired on BBC Radio 4, hadn’t used it.

Speaking to Radio 4’s Loose Ends show about the incident, Jo said: “It was a terrible line comedy-wise.

“I’m not saying it was a good line anyway-wise, but I kind of wish they had not used it because it was not funny.

“And then I was to be sacrificed on the alter of a terrible joke.”

Jo then clarified her joke, before admitting she went through a “very difficult” time in the aftermath of it.


She said: “Of course, unless you’re someone who’s a very vicious nasty person, I wouldn’t want to do that to anybody.

“It was very difficult for a while.”

Following the incident, the comedian said people should take what comedians say “with a pinch of salt”, amid today’s woke climate.

Jo added: “There is a big difference between comedians and everybody else. 

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“If you are a comedian then people should take what you say with a pinch of salt, because it is normally a joke.

“That is what we are supposed to be doing.

“We seem in some ways to be lumped in with everyone else – politicians, actors and the lot.

“It is more difficult these days to get away with being ironic or just doing a punchline to a joke, it doesn’t mean anything really.”

Mr Farage had complained Brand should not have joked about something so serious and urged the police to take action.

The Metropolitan Police were said to have “briefly considered launching an investigation”, but ultimately decided against it, according to The Guardian.

After the joke sparked complaints, the BBC edited it out from the show, which had been uploaded to iPlayer.

Brand later explained on the podcast Out to Lunch with Jay Rayner that it was “unbearable” when some individuals implied her joke could be seen as endorsing or inciting acid attacks. 


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