Frankie Boyle gets a few things off his chest

Thursday: Frankie Boyle’s New World Order; (BBC Two, 10pm)
Frankie Boyle returns for his fourth series but will he keep it sweet?Frankie Boyle returns for his fourth series but will he keep it sweet?
Frankie Boyle returns for his fourth series but will he keep it sweet?

Throughout his career, Frankie Boyle has taken aim at anything and anybody.

The Scottish comedian, famed for a pitch-black, boundary-pushing brand of humour, has rarely been far from controversy since his first appearance on BBC panel show Mock the Week.

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The royal family have long been a favoured target of Boyle – and in 2008 the red-headed comic impersonated the Queen, joking: “I’ve had a few medical problems this year. I am now so old, that my p***y is haunted.”

Boyle found himself in hot water in 2008 when he was accused of bullying swimmer and Olympic gold-medalist Rebecca Adlington.

He quipped: “The thing that nobody really said about Rebecca Adlington is that she looks pretty weird. She looks like someone who’s looking at themselves in the back of a spoon. And then, when she arrived back on the flight she met her boyfriend. Did you see her boyfriend? He was really attractive. He was like a male model. So from that I have deduced that Rebecca Adlington is very dirty – I mean if you just take into account how long she can hold her breath…”

Frankie caused outrage two years later, when he made vicious comments at the expense of Katie Price’s son, Harvey, then aged eight.

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The acerbic comic again courted controversy in 2013 when he performed at the Russell Brand hosted Give It Up For Comic Relief.

The Duchess of Cambridge, Oscar Pistorius, Pope Benedict XVI and Jimmy Savile were all covered during a close-to-the-bone six-minute set that the broadcaster ultimately decided not to air.

Boyle’s Channel 4 sketch show Tramadol Nights arguably exhibited some of Boyle’s most controversial material, with one episode featuring use of racial slurs, though the broadcaster claimed that the comedian was ridiculing their use.

Over the years, social media has developed into the medium of choice for the stand-up, and Boyle was the subject of a Twitter backlash when he jibed: “Brexit has many downsides but I think it will be nice for the Irish to watch a British famine”.

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And last year, Boyle drew scorn from the Conservative Party after he made a controversial joke about the IRA.

During an episode of Frankie Boyle’s New World Order, he reflected on a summit of Conservative politicians, asking: “Where the f**k are the IRA when you need them?”

Bearing all this in mind, it should be interesting to see what Frankie has to say about what is arguably the biggest global story since the Second World War – the coronavirus pandemic.

NWO returns for its fourth series, and Frankie is joined by more comic guests to try and make sense of these bewildering times.

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Earlier this year, Boyle’s performances on New World Order were nominated for best entertainment performance at the BAFTAs. Although the programme may be classed as a “comedy”, it is merely a chance for Frankie to get a few things off his chest.

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