BBC will REBOOK black comedian Sophie Duker for Frankie Boyle show despite furious backlash over her ‘joke’ about ‘killing white people’

  • Sophie Duker, 30, talked about ‘killing whitey’ on Frankie Boyle’s BBC2 show
  • Left-wing comic said she was booked ‘last minute’ so panel wasn’t ‘all-white’
  • She ‘refused to reappear on show’ unless the BBC hired more black panelists
  • Corporation then promised to make it an ‘easy yes’ and ‘meet her terms’

BBC bosses face new questions about why they promised to rebook a black comedienne who controversially ‘joked’ about killing white people.

Sophie Duker, 30, claimed that she was booked by producers of Frankie Boyle’s irreverent BBC2 panel show New World Order for an episode about the Black Lives Matter movement ‘last minute’ so the panel was not ‘all-white’.

The Left-wing female comic allegedly then refused to appear on future episodes of the programme unless the BBC hired other black panelists. 

In an interview for the RHLSTP comedy podcast, Ms Duker revealed that the Corporation privately admitted that it ‘understood’ her concerns and vowed to make it an ‘easy yes’ to bring her back by meeting the ‘terms’ she outlined.

Critics now accuse the the BBC, whose new Director-General has vowed to tackle the problem of ‘Left-wing comedy bias’ in its programming, of pandering to Ms Duker’s requirements despite a fierce public backlash after her appearance.

The comedienne, who has also appeared on Eight Out of Ten Cats, made controversial statements about racism and ‘white power’ where she called ‘whiteness’ a ‘capitalist structure’ and joked about ‘killing whitey’.

Sophie Duker, 30, claimed she was booked by producers of Frankie Boyle’s show New World Order for an episode about Black Lives Matter ‘last minute’ so the panel was not ‘all-white’

Controversial statements about racism and ‘white power’ were made by comic Sophie Duker in an episode of the new series of Frankie Boyle’s panel show New World Order

Speaking with Richard Herring for the podcast yesterday, Ms Duker said: ‘I was asked to do the news quiz at very short notice after having already done an episode in the series, and I sort of immediately knew it would be to speak about Black Lives Matter.

‘They told me shortly after that I was replacing another comic, who was a white man, and it would have been an all-white panel, and that’s why I’d been booked.

‘I said I wouldn’t go back on the short again unless there was another black person on the show. There’s been no other person of colour involved editorially at all.

‘I was emailed (by the BBC) afterwards and they said that they basically understood why I did it… They would really like to have me back and to make it like an easy yes on the terms I outlined. I thought it was really gracious and classy’.  

MailOnline has approached the BBC for comment. 

Yesterday the BBC came under fire for airing ‘racist’ remarks by the ‘Marxist’ comic in an episode about the Black Lives Matter movement.

In a segment where the panelists discuss if the movement ‘glosses over the complexities of a world where we all need to come together and kill whitey’, Boyle played a clip of black author James Baldwin talking about ‘black power’ in an interview on the Dick Cavett Show in the 1970s.  

Controversial statements about racism and ‘white power’ were made by comic Sophie Duker in an episode of the new series of Frankie Boyle’s panel show New World Order

Throughout her monologue, Duker’s co-panelists – Frankie Boyle, Sara Pascoe and Jamali Maddix – can be seen nodding and heard humming in agreement with the comedian 

The segment fueled anger from a growing chorus of licence-fee payers who question why the BBC is ‘broadcasting ‘comedy’ where they ‘joke’ about killing an entire race of people’

Responding to the clip, Duker said ‘white power is Trump Tower’ – a nod to Left-wing allegations that the US President is a racist.

She continued: ‘But when we say we want to kill whitey, we don’t really mean we want to kill whitey’. Ms Duker then quips to the panelists ‘we do’ to roars of laughter.


Duker was born in London to first-generation immigrants from West Africa. Her mother is from Cameroon and her father is from Ghana. She studied French and English at Wadham College, Oxford. She joined the Oxford Imps in her first year at university.

An alumna of the Pleasance Comedy Reserve, Duker was shortlisted for the Funny Women award in 2015. She founded and hosted the ‘Manic Pixie Dream Girls’ show as part of Edinburgh’s Free Festival in 2016 and 2017.

Duker was an assistant producer for Frankie Boyle’s New World Order and a researcher for 8 Out of 10 Cats Does Countdown. In 2019, she appeared on 8 Out of 10 Cats, Frankie Boyle’s New World Order, Dave Gorman: Terms and Conditions Apply, and Mock the Week, and in 2020 in 8 Out of 10 Cats Does Countdown.

In 2018, Duker set up the comedy night ‘Wacky Racists’, which currently has a monthly residency at 2Northdown in Kings Cross, London, and performs spin-off shows at festivals and events across the UK. In December 2019, Soho Theatre hosted a seasonal Christmas ‘Wacky Racists’ special.

Duker co-starred in the pilot for a hidden camera sketch show on Channel 4 called Riot Girls as well as on the Comedy Central UK comedy show What I Wish I’d Said in 2018.

Her first stand-up show, ‘Diet Woke’, was premiered in 2018. She took her 2019 show, ‘Venus’, to the Brighton Fringe and the Edinburgh Fringe, performing at the Edinburgh Pleasance from July 31 to August 25, 2019.

Ms Duker added: ‘But when people react to people saying white privilege – whiteness is a capitalist structure, it benefits itself. 

‘It hurts white people, it hurts non-black people, it hurts black people.

‘But still this kind of fear of a black alternative, and it’s these sort of rhetorics battling against each other, these extreme capitalist rhetorics of supremacy.’

The segment fueled anger from a growing chorus of disgruntled licence-fee payers who question why the BBC is ‘broadcasting comedy’ where they ‘joke’ about killing an entire race of people’. Actor Laurence Fox thundered: ‘The BBC must have a no tolerance policy on ALL forms of racism.’

A BBC spokesman rubbished criticism of its decision to air the ‘Marxist’ comic, telling MailOnline: ‘Frankie Boyle’s New World Order was shown after 10pm and its content is within audience expectations for a post-watershed, topical, satirical programme from a comedian whose style and tone are well-established’. 

TalkRadio presenter Julia Hartley-Brewer said: ‘This is horrible. It’s not just unfunny, it’s incoherent nonsensical Marxist gobbledegook. The white contributors nodding along supportively as this woman jokes about killing people who look like them is just plain sick.’

Brexiteer Darren Grimes claimed: ‘This is from BBC comedy’s New World Order. I’m not sure how this is ‘comedy’. 

‘I’m not sure why our cash is paying for it. I’m not sure why the BBC isn’t challenging those determined to do all that they can to divide us with this hateful wordsoup of divisive dross.’

Another social media user tweeted: ‘Whiteness hurts black people’??? Really? Doesn’t sound like a joke to me. Imagine Frankie Boyle saying ‘Blackness hurts white people!”

One commented: ‘Shouldn’t Ofcom be monitoring and taking action against this kind of incitement to violence masquerading as comedy?’  

It comes after Tim Davie, the BBC’s new Director-General, vowed to tackle the problem of ‘Left-wing comedy bias’ at the Corporation. 

Earlier this month, it was reported that Mr Davie wanted a radical overhaul of the broadcaster’s comedy output in the coming months, over fears it is seen as is seen as ‘too one-sided’. 

Shows such as BBC Two’s satirical comedy The Mash Report and The Now Show on Radio 4 and Have I Got News For You have previously been criticised.   

‘Defund the BBC’ campaigners raise £60,000 in donations towards bid to decriminalise non-payment of TV licence in wake of fury over corporation’s ‘rich list’

By Katie Feehan for MailOnline

An anti-BBC campaign group which aims to drastically reform the corporation’s governance has raised nearly £60,000 in donations.

Defund the BBC, a right-wing group founded by Brexiteers, began crowdfunding in June and aims to decriminalise non-payment of the TV licence fee.

The group is using the money to create campaign material including billboards, merchandise and advertisements across social media.

The campaign says it has three main goals: to raise awareness of the legal implications of cancelling a TV licence, to urge the government to decriminalise non-payment of the licence fee and to lobby for the compulsory annual levy to be reduced to the lowest possible level in the BBC’s mid-charter review in 2022.

Defund the BBC, founded by James Yucel (left), has received more than £57,000 in donations amid fury over corporation’s ‘rich list’ published this week. The right-wing campaign is backed by prominent Brexiteer personalities including Darren Grimes (right) and Calvin Robinson

The flood of donations comes as the BBC came under fire after published accounts showed staff pay had soared 3.5 per cent up to £1.5billion this year.

Meanwhile the corporation is pushing ahead with plans to strip a million over-75s of their free TV licences.

Accounts published earlier this week showed that Zoe Ball is now the BBC’s highest earner after pocketing a £1million pay rise – knocking Gary Lineker off the top spot.

The Match of the Day star, 59, is understood to have signed a new five-year contract – and a nearly 25 per cent pay cut from £1.75million down to £1.35million.

BBC Rich List top ten

1. BBC Radio 2 breakfast show DJ Zoe Ball is on £1.36 million.

2. Match of the Day host Gary Lineker is on £1.35 million. 

3. Graham Norton takes about £725,000 for his Radio 2 show and some TV work, but not his chat show.

4. Radio 2 DJ Steve Wright is on about £475,000.

5. Newsreader and election night presenter Huw Edwards is on more than £465,000.

6. Fiona Bruce takes home over £450,000 for her work on Question Time.

7. BBC Radio London’s Vanessa Feltz is on about £405,000.

8. Desert Island Discs host Lauren Laverne is on more than £395,000.

9. Broadcaster Stephen Nolan is on more than £390,000 for his radio work, including 5 Live.

10. Match Of The Day’s Alan Shearer is on the same figure of £390,000 a year.

While the Corporation said it was working towards closing the gender pay gap, Defund the BBC campaigners say pay rises were given to those who were performing poorly.

They highlighted pay rises given to Zoe Ball, who has lost nearly a million listeners, and Lauren Laverne who hosts Desert Island Discs.

Defund the BBC’s Head of Press Liam Deacon told talkRADIO: ‘You might say this is because of a good instinct to correct this gender pay gap but really I think this is actually symptomatic of a structural fundamental problem with the BBC that pay and money is not tied to performance in the same way that it would be in a business.

‘The BBC is using our money in a really grotesque way.’ 

The BBC’s top 10 highest-paid stars includes four women for the first time, with Vanessa Feltz and Fiona Bruce also featuring.

Critics have blasted its decision to reward its staff with a total 3.5 per cent salary increase even after it announced plans to slim down its operations following the pandemic.

BBC director-general Tim Davie defended Ball’s huge pay rise after she shed nearly a million listeners in the first year in her new role, saying it was a ‘punchy’ market.

‘Zoe is absolutely a broadcaster at the top of her game. She’s delivering over eight million listeners,’ he boasted. ‘I think we’re getting incredible value.’

Asked about the likes of Lineker still earning more than £1million, Mr Davie said he would expect ‘people to come to the BBC at a significant discount to what they’d get in the open market’. But he added: ‘We will invest in very limited situations in particular markets to ensure we have got the best talent.’

Defund the BBC’s website lists it’s founder as James Yucel – the 18-year-old treasurer of the University of Glasgow Conservative Association.

The campaign is backed by prominent Brexit personalities Calvin Robinson, a former Brexit Party parliamentary candidate, and Darren Grimes, the pro-Brexit campaigner recently cleared of committing electoral offences during the EU referendum.

But the campaign director is Rebecca Ryan, the founder of the #StandUp4Brexit campaign which put pressure on MPs to oppose Theresa May’s Chequers deal.

‘For the last four years, the Brexiteers have been portrayed by the BBC as being thick, racist and old,’ she told the Times this week.

‘It is difficult to explain to people who didn’t support Brexit how it actually feels to be forced to pay for something on fear of imprisonment only to be repeatedly portrayed in that way. It’s a deep, deep injustice.’

Radio 2 DJ Zoe Ball will now overtake Gary Lineker as the BBC’s highest paid stars 

Fewer families are buying TV licences, according to BBC’s annual report published this week

The campaign’s Twitter account attracted 25,000 followers on the first day and its following now sits at 96,000.

The crowdfunding campaign, which has a target of £100,000, has received more than £57,000 from 2,700 donors since June.

Figures from the BBC’s annual report show fewer households are buying TV licences and that audiences for its major channels have also fallen, suggesting many families are relying on streaming services such as Netflix and Amazon Prime.

The Corporation said 25.9million licences were in force in 2019/20 – down 237,000 in a year.

With a licence costing £157.50, the fall cost the BBC just under £40million.

The BBC lost millions more because the Government has started to reduce the amount of money it gives the Corporation to pay for free licences for the over-75s.

The BBC has insisted it cannot afford the concession for all pensioners and says only around 900,000 who receive Pension Credit would continue to get it.

Meanwhile, Netflix bosses have thrown their weight behind the long-term future of the BBC and voiced support for continuing the licence fee.

They say the streaming service, which has been hoovering up viewers from traditional TV stations, benefits from a creative landscape crowded with thriving public service broadcasters.

According to this week’s report, younger people aged 16 to 34 watched or listened to just seven and a half hours of BBC content a week – only a slightly higher share than YouTube. 

Across all ages, the audience reach of BBC1 – the numbers that see the channel each week – fell from 68 per cent to 65.4 per cent in a year. BBC2 also saw a decline, from 42.9 per cent to 41.9 per cent.

CBBC, CBeebies and BBC Four also saw falls while the only increases were on the BBC News channel and BBC Parliament. 

Even among its most loyal viewers – the over-55s – audience reach across all BBC TV channels fell from 93 per cent to 92 per cent. 

Among those aged 16 to 34, the proportion fell from 58 per cent to 55 per cent. Radio 1 saw its audience reach fall from 17 to 16.6 per cent and Radio 2 dropped from 27.2 per cent to 26 per cent. 

The audience for Radio 4 was stable at 19.3 per cent and there were small rises at Radio 3 and 5 Live. 

The report said: ‘Young adults watched 11 hours a week on all TV channels on average – decreasing around 75 minutes year on year.

‘In contrast, the time they spent using the TV set for subscription video on demand, gaming, YouTube and other purposes increased – up to around 40 minutes per week to just over nine hours weekly on average.’ 

The annual report revealed a rise in the number of executives. The BBC now employs 253 senior managers – up from 250 the year before.

Of these, no fewer than 106 earn more than the Prime Minister’s £150,000. 

Together with 76 on-air talent staff, it means almost 200 staff at the BBC earn more than Boris Johnson. 

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