Rob Beckett says it’s not worth joking about JK Rowling: ‘That’s a red zone’

’That’s going to cause problems – don’t mention that,’ comedian said

Jacob Stolworthy
Tuesday 09 May 2023 16:45 BST
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Rob Beckett has suggested that it’s not worth making jokes about controversial topics or people, such as JK Rowling.

The comedian is gearing up to co-host the Bafta TV awards alongside fellow comedian Romesh Ranganathan, but it seems their opening speech might be devoid of any contentious topics.

Beckett expressed the belief that the duo were appointed as hosts as “we’ll talk about us and our relationship rather than a hit list of stuff”.

One such name he will avoid mentioning is Harry Potter author Rowling, who has caused controversy and national debate with her opinions on gender ideology and the transgender community.

Beckett told The Telegraph: “I know that [with] JK Rowling and Harry Potter, there’s something’s going on with it, I don’t really know [what], though. All I know is: ‘Don’t mention JK Rowling or Harry Potter at all.’ You just think, that’s a red zone, that’s going to cause problems, don’t mention that.”

Beckett also rallied against the idea that cancel culture is ruining what comedians can and can’t say.

“I don’t think you really get cancelled any more – you just can’t get an audience,” he said.

In agreement, Ranganathan added: “It does feel like that time of everybody sh***ing themselves about cancel culture and stuff like that [is over].

“Don’t get me wrong, it happens – but I just don’t agree with this, ‘You can’t say anything any more…’ thing, I just think that’s b******s. The people who say that want to just exclusively talk about the thing they feel they can’t say.”

Rob Beckett and Romesh Ranganathan are hosting this year’s Bafta TV Awards

The British Academy Television Awards air on BBC One on 14 May.

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