UK & World News
Frankie Boyle 'Very Happy' With Libel Victory
Comedian Frankie Boyle says he is "very happy" after being awarded more than £54,000 damages by a High Court jury which decided he had been libelled by the Daily Mirror.
The 40-year-old from Glasgow claimed the Mirror defamed him by labelling him a racist and saying he had been "forced to quit" the BBC panel show Mock The Week.
The paper's publisher, Mirror Group Newspapers (MGN), had defended the article, which appeared on July 19, 2011, claiming the "racist" description was either true or "honest comment on a matter of public interest".
But Mr Boyle said the Daily Mirror had "misunderstood" his jokes.
He told the High Court that characters he played might express racist views, but he did not, adding that he actively campaigned against racism and parodied racists.
MGN also maintained the words "forced to quit" did not mean that Mr Boyle had been sacked and were not defamatory.
Mr Boyle's counsel, David Sherborne, admitted his client's humour was deliberately challenging.
He said Mr Boyle would not have minded if his material had been called vile, tasteless or offensive, because that went with the territory, but he did object to being called a racist.
A barrister representing MGN said Mr Boyle was "callous" and "insensitive".
Ronald Thwaites QC said if jurors thought Mr Boyle had been libelled they should show their "contempt" by awarding damages of 45p - the price of a copy of the Daily Mirror.
But after a week-long trial in London they ruled in favour of Mr Boyle and awarded him £54,650 in damages.
The comic, who is to give the money to charity, said he was "very happy" as he left court, making further comments on Twitter.
In a series of tweets he wrote: "I'm very happy with the jury's decision and their unanimous rejection of the Mirror's allegation that I am a racist."
In another he said: "Racism is still a very serious problem in society which is why I've made a point of always being anti-racist in my life and work and that's why I brought this action."
In the past Boyle has upset Olympic swimmer Rebecca Adlington and glamour model Katie Price with comments about her disabled son.