Frankie Boyle: 'Working class' Scottish comedy will be left to go to the wall

Frankie Boyle has suggested Scottish comedy will be abandoned because it is a 'working class' art form.Frankie Boyle has suggested Scottish comedy will be abandoned because it is a 'working class' art form.
Frankie Boyle has suggested Scottish comedy will be abandoned because it is a 'working class' art form.
Stand-up favourite Frankie Boyle has predicted that the comedy industry will be left to “go to the wall” in Scotland – because it represents the voices of working class people.

The Glasgow-born comic has predicted that the Scottish Government and Creative Scotland will abandon clubs and performers because “the Scottish establishment is incredibly paternalistic."

The 48-year-old, one of the most high-profile figures involved in a new campaign to prevent the industry from collapsing in the wake of the shutdown of arts venues, said comedy was a “working class art form.”

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But he suggested it would suffer due to an attitude that “we should hear less from such people.”

Kevin Bridges, Janey Godley, Fern Brady and Daniel Sloss are among the other comics who have pleaded for emergency funding to help prevent long-standing businesses going under.

Boyle told his 2.8 million Twitter followers: "One reason Creative Scotland and the Scottish Government will let the Scottish comedy scene go to the wall is that, in Scotland, comedy is a working class art form.

"At heart, the Scottish establishment is incredibly paternalistic, and thinks we should hear less from such people.”

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Boyle was among the many comics to speak out in support of The Stand Comedy Club at the weekend after it warned that the entire industry was “on the brink of close” and at risk of being “forgotten” in the emergency funding packages that are being distributed by the Scottish Government and Creative Scotland.

Boyle said at the weekend: “I started out at The Stand, did an open spot as a student, found it terrifying. They came and found me in my halls of residence and made me give it another go. Be tragic if it goes.”

The government set aside £10m for performing arts centres in July, shortly the UK government announced that Scotland would be getting a £97 million share of a £1.57 billion rescue package for the UK’s cultural sector.

However new figures published Creative Scotland have revealed that £74m of the emergency funding from Westminster has not been allocated by the Scottish Government.

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A spokeswoman for the arts funding body said: “We fully appreciate the severe challenges that everyone working in culture is facing at this extremely difficult time, the urgency for emergency assistance and the need for clarity as soon as possible.

"We continue to work urgently with Scottish Government officials to influence the allocation of remaining budget from the £97m the UK Government provided in emergency support for culture and heritage.”

The Royal Lyceum and Traverse theatres in Edinburgh, the Tramway arts centre and Tron Theatre in Glasgow, Aberdeen Performing Arts, which runs the Music Hall and His Majesty’s Theatre in the city, Eden Court Theatre in Inverness and Horsecross Arts, which runs Perth Theatre and Perth Concert Hall, have all received more than half a million pounds in lifeline support to lift the threat of insolvency and bring staff back to work.

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