Red-carding racism

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The Independent Culture
Red-carding racism

Racism is no laughing matter - but that doesn't stop comedians working to combat it. Post-Comic Relief comedians have highly developed social consciences, and after the election of BNP councillor Derek Beackon, they felt they should do something about it. Consequently Comedians Against Racism, a sort of humorous offspring of Rock Against Racism, was formed. The point is not to render racists ineffective by reducing them to helpless mirth, but to raise consciousness, and money, through humour. CAR's latest venture is A Game of Three Halves, a benefit this Monday in aid of the Football Supporters' Association's anti-racist campaign. CAR has selected what is very much a Comic First XI: Jo Brand, Arthur Smith (right), Kevin Day, Arnold Brown, Harry Hill, Felix Dexter, Jim Tavare, Phil Jupitus, Angie La Mar, Jeff Green and Alastair MacGowan. The supersub is Guns 'n' Moses, billed as "the world's first Jewish heavy-metal group". The proceeds from the benefit will go towards the FSA's campaign to challenge the racist element following the England team. "They need to be marginalised to allow decent supporters to feel more comfortable," says Tim Crabbe, National Chair of the FSA, who aims to start by encouraging a greater respect for the national anthems played before England games. The FSA would also like to be able to do something about the fact that although 25 per cent of professional footballers are black, less than one per cent of fans are. "We need to carry on bashing home the message," Crabbe asserts. One-nil to the comedians.

A Game of Three Halves is at the Comedy Store, Oxendon St, SW1 8pm Monday. Tickets from Ticketmaster (0171-344 4444) £10