Support 100 years of independent journalism.

  1. Politics
4 April 2016

Mark Steel clears low bar with unfunniest joke in decades

“I might sue for emotional abuse”: so-called comedian mocks The Archers domestic abuse plotline.

By media mole

One can forgive People’s Assembly-botherer and George Galloway hat thief Mark Steel for trying out some new material. There’s only so many times “Iraq was bad” can tickle audiences before they begin to look elsewhere for unambitious mockery of obviously poor foreign policy decisions. Somebody’s got to listen to The Now Show, after all.

But Steel’s latest attempt at humour is probably not the best new direction. He has made a “joke” about how tedious he finds people discussing The Archers, saying he should be the one to “sue for emotional abuse” – when the show’s latest story is about domestic control and coercion.

Steel claims he wasn’t referring to an interview specifically about domestic abuse on The Archers, but his joke about emotional abuse clearly links to Rob Titchener’s abuse of his wife Helen – a storyline that has been making headlines for weeks.

Someone remind Steel that, in order to be a “progressive”, you probably have to…progress at some point.

Sign up for The New Statesman’s newsletters Tick the boxes of the newsletters you would like to receive. Quick and essential guide to domestic and global politics from the New Statesman's politics team. The New Statesman’s global affairs newsletter, every Monday and Friday. The best of the New Statesman, delivered to your inbox every weekday morning. A handy, three-minute glance at the week ahead in companies, markets, regulation and investment, landing in your inbox every Monday morning. Our weekly culture newsletter – from books and art to pop culture and memes – sent every Friday. A weekly round-up of some of the best articles featured in the most recent issue of the New Statesman, sent each Saturday. A weekly dig into the New Statesman’s archive of over 100 years of stellar and influential journalism, sent each Wednesday. Sign up to receive information regarding NS events, subscription offers & product updates.
I consent to New Statesman Media Group collecting my details provided via this form in accordance with the Privacy Policy