Comedian Lee Hurst under fire over torture remarks

Comedian Lee Hurst
Comedian Lee Hurst Credit: Geoff Pugh

Lee Hurst, the stand up comedian best known for his regular appearances as a panelist on 90s comedy sports quiz show They Think It's All Over, had the dubious honour of becoming a trending topic on Twitter this week, after posting comments about torture that prompted a host of heated replies.

Following reports that Donald Trump had spoken positively about the use of torture, Hurst posted on Twitter saying:  "Torture does work. I find I'm on Twitter far less than usual due to the whining of the ultra left."

In a subsequent tweet he wrote: "Your baby is tied to a timebomb. You have the terrorist. He tells you you have 1 hour. Do you #torture him to find your baby or let it die?"

His hypothetical scenario garnered a large number of responses. While some engaged with the question, many were sarcastic, scathing or abusive:

In a follow-up tweet Hurst wrote: "This was an experiment. Torture people said torture. Anti torture people deflected and would not answer."

The controversy arose on the same day the Rory McGrath, his former They Think It's All Over colleague, was in the headlines after pleading guilty to a charge of harassment at Huntingdon Magistrates' Court. 

McGrath avoided jail after admitting harassing a married former lover for 14 months, receiving a  ten week prison sentence suspended for 18 months.

In February 2009 Hurst was fined £60 after pleading guilty to a charge of criminal damage. The case stemmed from an incident a few months earlier at a comedy gig in Guildford, during which he snatched an audience member's mobile phone and broke it by throwing it to the floor.

He told Guildford Magistrates' Court that he did it out of anger, claiming that footage of his gigs end up on websites such as YouTube.

 

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