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Thursday, November 24, 2011

'Why are they called Sunshine Variety coaches when all the kids look the same?' Jimmy Carr blasted for 'sick' Down’s syndrome joke

By Richard Hartley-parkinson

Comedian Jimmy Carr has sparked outrage for making an offensive joke about children with Down's syndrome.

In front of a theatre audience he said: 'Why are they called the Sunshine Variety coaches when all the kids on them look the f***ing same?'

The stand-up comic who hosts the Channel 4 TV panel show '8 Out Of 10 Cats' was immediately criticised for targeting people unable to defend themselves.

In response to the joke, Malcolm Brenner from the Variety Club said the comedian was ridiculing children with Down's syndrome and 'you can't get much lower than that'.

A spokesman from Down's Heart Group said the charity feels 'it is a shame when anyone makes fun of those with disabilities as it usually causes upset and distress to these people and their families.

'After years of campaigning, raising awareness and educating it is sad that there is still such ignorance around.

'Many people with learning difficulties lead ordinary lives, contributing to society and playing a full role in their communities.

'They should be recognised for the sheer effort it takes just to keep up with their peers, rather than being laughed at for conditions they certainly didn’t bring on themselves.

Offensive: 'Why are they called Sunshine Variety coaches when all the kids look the same?'

Using the term 'mong' Ricky Gervais posted this picture of himself on Twitter. He claimed he didn't know the word was still an offensive way of describing someone with Down's Syndrome

Reacting to the furore, Mr Carr said: 'It was the 238th gig of the tour and nobody has complained so far. I'm sorry to anyone who came and was offended.'

Mr Carr was also criticised on the anniversary of 9/11 after making a joke about air disasters.

He caused anger when he made a gag about the Eastern Airlines Douglas DC-9-31 which made a crash landing on September 11, 1974, initially killing 69 people. The figure rose to 72 after three others died from their injuries.

The 38-year-old stand-up tweeted: 'Sept 11th Date of terrible air disaster. When Eastern Airlines Flt 212 crashed in 1974. Killing 69. No one will forget that in a hurry.'

But his followers, including Crimewatch presenter Rav Wilding, 33, blasted him for having a sick sense of humour. Wilding tweeted: '@jimmycarr why would you even attempt to make a joke about 09/11? Seriously bad taste.'

In October 2009, Carr was criticised for a joke he made about British soldiers who had lost limbs in battle in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The star was forced to apologise and promised to raise money for a charity which supports wounded servicemen after causing uproar by making a sick joke about troops who have lost their limbs on the front line.

In June this year Carr was criticised for writing a sick magazine comic strip depicting shootings in schools.

Beat My Score is set in a world where 'successes' earn points and one crazed Japanese college student is prepared to go further than anyone else in order to claim first place in the sick game.

Carr launched a DVD this week. Twitter user Lisa Haines said: 'Another sign that it's nearly Xmas both Jimmy Carr & Alan Carr on the @ChrisMoylesShow in one week'



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