Controversial comic Roy 'Chubby' Brown returns to 'second home' at Blackpool's North Pier theatre
Blackpool comedy mainstay Roy 'Chubby' Brown will return to his 'second home' at the North Pier this week amid fresh controversy over the cancellation of one of his upcoming shows.
The stand-up comic, whose real name is Royston Vasey, will appear on Friday night at the Joe Longthorne Theatre, where he has performed annually for more than 30 years.
The comedian recently made national headlines due to the cancellation of an upcoming show at Sheffield City Hall due to criticisms of racist and sexist material, and the subsequent backlash from fans who opposed the City Trust's decision.
A spokesman for Chubby Brown said the 76-year-old had been 'overcome with the support' he has received.
It was said he is now looking forward to returning to Blackpool, which has become his 'second home'.
"Roy is part and parcel now. He's a stick of Blackpool rock. He's synonymous with Blackpool, and the locals appreciate that he has brought so much money to the town over the years, because the fans do stay over, they book into hotels," the spokesman said. "Over 30 years, hes probably brought in a fortune.
"He should be the one switching on the Illuminations. He's the one turning the lights on.
"Chubby loves Blackpool, and Blackpool loves him."
In a statement following the cancellation of his Sheffield City Hall show, Roy 'Chubby' Brown himself said: "At first I had a sense of anger and disbelief, but on reflection I now feel just disappointment and sadness with the decision and the way things are going generally.
"I have been performing at the City Hall annually for the last 30-plus years and have always had great nights there and a wonderful working relationship with the management and staff at the City Hall, and my fans have always come along and supported me in their thousands through the years
"Now in these strange times of snowflakes and political correctness it has been decided that I am no longer welcome."
He said his adults-only show was "an act with one sole purpose... to put a smile on people’s faces, certainly not to offend", but added, "IF EASILY OFFENDED, PLEASE STAY AWAY!"
The decision to axe the show was made by Sheffield City Trust, the charity that runs Sheffield City Hall, following complaints.
Andrew Snelling, chief executive of Sheffield City Trust, said: “We don’t believe this show reflects Sheffield City Trust values, particularly our ambition that our leisure, culture and entertainment venues are inclusive for all in Sheffield.”
Gill Furniss, MP for Sheffield Brightside and Hillsborough, wrote to the Trust and said: “This is the right thing to do. There is no place for any hate-filled performance in our diverse and welcoming city.”
An online petition to reintroduce the show to the City Hall's calendar was signed by more than 28,000 people.
Chubby said: "I won’t name call or get involved in politics, but it amazes me how I’m not allowed to perform behind closed doors in certain areas, to an audience who want to see me, but there are a lot of very similar things widely available on television and social media publicly and most importantly to children which I would think are very offensive to certain people and communities. Would the efforts of the councils, snowflakes, censorship committees not be better used by looking into this than stopping my show which doesn’t offend anyone?
"I would confidently suggest that 90 per cent of people who complain about my show have never even seen it, so how can they possibly comment or have an opinion?"
His spokesman added: "He's a bit gobsmacked by how supportive fans of been. He's really a very senstive man, and his fans have rallied in support of him.
"There's a big divide between your average Chubby Brown fans and the general public, but the general public has largely sided with him as well. He's got support some everybody, which is fabulous."