Frankie Boyle, who made a joke regarding Holly Willoughby’s death and rape, is being criticised but refuses an apology

  • The Scottish comic, 49, described a game about ‘killing and sh*****g’ people
  • This included presenter Holly Willoughby during Latitude Festival performance
  • After being asked at a book launch party about Boyle’s joke, Boyle responded by defending it yesterday

Comedian Frankie Boyle has been slammed for making a joke about raping and killing ITV presenter Holly Willoughby, Mail+ has revealed.

The Scottish comic, 49, described a game about ‘killing and sh*****g’ people including the TV star during a performance at the Latitude Festival in Suffolk last weekend.

Boyle allegedly told those in attendance: ‘I’d obviously kill her and rape her afterwards. I’m joking, I’d rape her first.’

Yesterday, the comedian was asked to defend the joke after being quizzed at the launch of his book by Waterstones.

Boyle said: ‘Can I just say, my routine about raping and f*****g Holly Willoughby was part of a very long routine about whether or not it’s okay to do a joke about that, and I look at it from both sides, there are pluses and minuses.’

He described comedy as in the ‘eye of the beholder’, and believes he is a mainstream comic.

Frankie Boyle pictured on stage during day three of Latitude Festival 2022 at Henham Park last weekend

Frankie Boyle is pictured at Henham Park on Saturday, 3/3 of Latitude Festival 2022

Boyle made a joke about raping and killing ITV presenter Holly Willoughby (pictured) at the festival

Boyle joked about Holly Willoughby being killed by ITV’s Holly Willoughby at the festival

Willoughby, 41 years old, previously spoke out in support of victims of sexual abuse under the #metoo campaign. Willoughby also described her experience as an ‘upskirt’, where she was photographed wearing her bottoms on the floor by photographers.

Caroline Nokes, Tory chair of the Commons’ Women and Equalities Committee, said she was ‘disappointed’ with the joke.

She told the Mail on Sunday: ‘The Frankie Boyle I was at university with wouldn’t have found rape funny. 

‘It never is, and I’m disappointed that anyone would try to make a joke out of male sexual violence.’

A spokesperson for volunteer campaign group FiLiA, which campaigns on feminism as part of the Women’s Liberation Movement, added: ‘We are horrified that some men in the entertainment industry continue to consider the abuse of women to be comedy material. 

‘There is nothing funny about male violence and seeking cheap applause at the expense of traumatising women speaks of low-quality material.’

The statement added: “We face a crisis national in which police and courts fail to rape those who dare to seek justice. 

“At this time, one in four women reports having been sexually assaulted. We know that less than two percent of reported rapes occur in England and Wales, according to research.

‘Women and girls around the country are not laughing. Instead, women are angry and scared for their safety.’

Both Boyle and Willoughby were contacted by the MoS for comments, but they weren’t available.