Rosie Jones hits back at trolls over Big Fat Quiz of the Year: ‘Same old ableism’

Jones, who has cerebral palsy, appeared on the Channel 4 panel show with fellow comedians including Katherine Ryan and Jimmy Carr

Roisin O'Connor
Sunday 31 December 2023 07:40 GMT
Rosie Jones appears on Big Fat Quiz of the Year

Comedian Rosie Jones has condemned the “same old ableism” after she was inundated with abuse following an appearance on Channel 4’s Big Fat Quiz of the Year.

Jones, 33, appeared on the end-of-year comedy panel show alongside host Jimmy Carr and fellow panellists Mo Gilligan, Katherine Ryan, Richard Ayoade, Mel Giedroyc and Kevin Bridges.

While the episode aired, a number of viewers shared negative opinions about Jones on social media, branding her “unfunny” and accusing her of “hindering the pacing of the show”.

Jones, who has cerebral palsy, is a vocal campaigner against ableism and frequently calls out trolls who attack her during TV appearances.

“Rinse and repeat,” she posted to X/Twitter on Thursday 28 December. “Different telly show, same old ableism. Thanks for the support, but I’m gonna lie low for a bit and sink into the perineum of Christmas and New Year.”

Jones was quote-tweeting a post she’d shared following her spot at The Royal Variety Performance on 17 December.

“Thank you for all of the lovely messages about The Royal Variety last night, what fun,” she said. “Less of a thanks to the not so lovely ones.

“Comedy is subjective and it’s ok if I’m not your cup of tea. But please remember the difference between personal preference and downright ableism.”

Criticism of Jones appeared to be exacerbated by fans defending Ricky Gervais, or those comparing the two. Gervais released his latest comedy special, Armageddon, on Netflix on Christmas Day.

Following her latest post, a number of people leapt to Jones’s defence.

“The Rosie Jones furore has exposed a depressing reality: a significant number of people in this country really would prefer it for visibly disabled people to hide away at home,” journalist Frances Ryan wrote on X.

“They’re fine with disabled people, y’know. They just don’t want to have to see or hear them.”

“Rosie Jones is the best,” comedian and TV presenter Nish Kumar tweeted.


“What’s with the Rosie Jones witch hunt?” one social media user questioned. “Don’t think she’s funny? Then don’t watch her. Plenty find her funny. There’s no need for everyone to start jumping on about it- have we learnt nothing about how social media can affect people?! What happened to be kind?”

Comedian Mark Grimshaw commented: “Honestly, even if you genuinely don’t like Rosie Jones’ comedy, a lot of you really need to question why you’re getting so irate at a disabled woman who spoke for a grand total of around five minutes across the entire duration of a two-hour-long TV show.”

In July, Jones released a one-off programme for Channel 4, the controversially titled Am I a R*****?, which delved into her experiences of ableist abuse.

Addressing the title, Jones said that she had chosen it in order to reclaim the slur that had been “used as a weapon towards me all my life”.

“I need to say, first and foremost: it was my choice, my idea,” she said. “I really wanted to take control of it and say, ‘This is not OK’...

“I understand that some people may be offended, or will be very upset by it, but at the same time, it is unfortunately still a word that has been used every day towards me.”

Gervais was condemned for using the same slur in his comedy special, Armageddon, during a joke about terminally ill children.

He is the subject of a James Acaster joke, which has currently resurfaced on social media, where the fellow comedian mocks his approach to comedy.

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