Rob Brydon joke about Stephen Fry's suicide attempt falls flat


Independent Staff
Wednesday 04 September 2013 19:17 BST
Did Rob Brydon overstep the mark at last night's GQ Awards with his joke about Stephen Fry?
Did Rob Brydon overstep the mark at last night's GQ Awards with his joke about Stephen Fry? (Rex Features)

Comedians often teeter on the edge between offensiveness and humour, but when Rob Brydon poked fun at his fellow QI star Stephen Fry's suicide attempt during a celebrity awards show his gag was reportedly greeted with silence not laughter.

The comic, who hosted the GQ Men of the Year awards, kicked off the show with a song about the guests that described Fry as "the nation's favourite dinner guest with charm up to the gills, what a shame he can't be left alone with vodka and some pills".

Fry, who laughed off the jibe, was at the central London event alongside stars including Harry Potter star Emma Watson and Justin Timberlake.

But some audience members didn't take the remark so lightly it seems. One viewer present at the awards tweeted: "Something tells me Rob Brydon just crossed the line at GQ. Joked about Stephen Fry's suicide attempt."

“Tumbleweed. And rightly so." The tweet continued.

Later other viewers vented their unhappiness about the joke on Twitter, with reactions varying from “Definitely not OK”, “Not funny Brydon”, to one viewer commenting “I am so disgusted”.

Fry revealed earlier this year that he tried to kill himself while filming a BBC2 documentary which sees him confronting anti-gay campaigners.

The star, who has bi-polar disorder and has spoken openly about his mental health problems, was saved when his producer on the film, which sees him travel to Russia, Uganda and America, found him unconscious.

Fry, who said he broke four ribs and was unconscious after convulsions related to the overdose incident, said: "It was a close-run thing. And, fortunately, the producer I was filming with at the time came into the hotel room and I was found in a sort of unconscious state and taken back to England and looked after."

His decision to speak openly about the issue was praised by Nick Clegg.

Stephen Fry at the GQ Awards last night (Rex Features)

The Deputy Prime Minister said the actor was helping to remove the "shadow of shame" from people who suffer similar problems.

Additional reporting from PA

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