UK & World News
Carr Mocked On TV But Set To Survive Tax Row
Jimmy Carr will be hoping that a merciless lampooning from fellow comedians on his 8 Out Of 10 Cats TV show repairs some of the damage done by the revelations over his tax affairs.
The Channel 4 panel show airs for the first time since his use of a complex scheme to avoid paying hundreds of thousands of pounds were laid bare by The Times newspaper, subjecting him to criticism from Prime Minister David Cameron among others.
The controversial comedian will also be able to gauge the impact on his popularity with the general public as he performs his stand-up act live in Stockport.
"Obviously it's damaging but it's no Michael Barrymore moment," public relations consultant Max Clifford said, referring to the incident in which 31-year-old Stuart Lubbock died in the entertainer's swimming pool.
Although Barrymore had no involvement in the death, the incident - along with well-documented problems with drink and drugs - coincided with a drop in his popularity.
Mr Clifford added the 39-year-old Carr's public apology over the scheme, which reportedly protected some £3.3m a year, could backfire if he is seen to have only made it to protect his career.
"What he did is the kind of thing stars all over the world are doing and others - including politicians and their families - are also doing," the PR consultant said.
"I would have said, 'My accountant told me I would save a lot and, hand-on-heart, most people would do the same.'
"He's a comedian not a politician and so he can afford to be a little bit controversial."
However, brand expert Mark Borkowski told Sky News the outrage was unlikely to have a long-lasting effect.
"People come and go for one reason - talent," he said.
He added Carr had repeatedly courted controversy - the comedian has previously been criticised after making jokes about injured servicemen and gypsies - and this tax row would increase his notoriety.
"He is edgy, he is political and that is his brand. I can't see him getting fired," Mr Borkowski.
He continued that even celebrities who lose their jobs because of indiscretions tend to end up back on our screens sooner or later.
"I can remember being asked the same question about Kate Moss after she was caught snorting cocaine up her nose and her career then accelerated in the aftermath," Mr Borkowski said.
"It is down to talent, sound counsel and learning from mistakes."
Carr is said to be one of more than 1,000 beneficiaries who shelter some £168m from the taxman each year using K2. HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) said the K2 scheme was already under investigation.
During 8 Out Of 10 Cats, recorded on Thursday, team captain Sean Lock jokes: "We all like to put a bit of money away for a rainy day, don't we? But I think you're more prepared than Noah."
Carr later says: "I've been dishing it out for years, it's about time I got some."
And he goes on: "I hate to sound like I'm passing the buck, but I'll tell you who I blame for this whole mess - me. It's entirely my fault."