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Ricky Gervais defends 'dead babies' joke after bereaved parents walk out of show


He said jokes should not be censored in case someone is offended.

Ricky Gervais has defended telling a joke about dead babies, saying “offence is the collateral damage of free speech” after bereaved parents walked out of his show.

Suzi and Ryan Gourley, whose son Eli was stillborn last year, left the gig and complained after the comedian made a joke at his Humanity tour show in Belfast on Tuesday.

Suzi told Belfast Live it was a gag she “wouldn’t have expected in a million years from anybody” adding: “I just think ‘Why? What is the need?’ This is our life – we have no choice but to live with this.

“I know people take things differently and I know our emotions are raw, but why joke about a baby being dead? It’s just wrong.”

After the show on Tuesday, Ricky tweeted:

He has since defended his material, writing:

The charity Stillbirth And Neonatal Death Support NI shared a warning about the show on Facebook, cautioning bereaved parents about what they might hear.

A screenshot of the message has been shared online.

Ricky will next take his Humanity tour to Sheffield on April 3.

PA Media