TV comedians 'bovvered' by religious poster campaign

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The Independent Online

Three of Britain's top comedians have given their response to plans by evangelical Christians to use their catchphrases to recruit new members: "No, but no, but no, but no."

Little Britain's Matt Lucas and David Walliams and Catherine Tate have threatened legal action against an evangelical Christian group over a poster campaign aimed at young people. Representatives of the stars claimed that using their most famous utterances on the posters breached their intellectual property rights.

Christian Publishing and Outreach (CPO), the UK's leading religious publicity supplier, sold the brightly coloured series to churches across the UK with the phrases in capital letters with the aim of reaching out to young people.

Each poster carried a famous phrase followed by a quotation from the Bible. One featured the catchphrase of Little Britain's shell-suited teenager, Vicky Pollard: "Yeah but, no but, yeah but". Below her catchphrase were the words of Peter the Apostle: "Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have." Another poster featured the retort of the nimble wheelchair-bound Andy Pipkin to his trusting carer, Lou Todd: "Yeah, I know."

Two catchphrases used by characters in The Catherine Tate Show were also used: Derek Faye's "How very dare you" and "Am I bovvered?" popularised by Tate's argumentative schoolgirl character, Lauren.

To that last question, representatives of Tate answered "yes" and said they would be contacting CPO on her behalf. The Little Britain stars have already taken action.

CPO was unavailable for comment yesterday (the Sabbath) but a spokesman told Scotland on Sunday that permission to use the catchphrases had not been sought and the posters had been withdrawn.

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