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Billy Connolly Cleared By Ofcom Over Dead Cat Joke

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Billy Connolly Cleared By Ofcom Over Dead Cat Joke

Ofcom has cleared Sir Billy Connolly after a joke about a cat being run over aired on his documentary.

The gag, which is shown on Billy Connolly: An Absolute Pleasure, was broadcast over Christmas but had complaints from two viewers who believed it was cruel towards animals.

Credit: Alamy
Credit: Alamy

The story, which was told in the show, involved a man who ran over a cat while travelling through the Highlands.


After the accidental incident, the tale went on to reveal how the man got out of the car and saw that the cat was lying at the side of the road so he hits it with a hammer to 'put it out of its misery'.

It was then explained that the man realised that the cat he'd hit was in the wheel arch of his vehicle and the one he had hit was perfectly healthy and was just 'sunbathing'.

According to The Scottish Sun, Connolly said that the story was told to him by Liam Neeson and it was said to have happened to a film crew member back in 1995.

Credit: Alamy
Credit: Alamy

Connolly said: “The cat story is one of my all time favourites. It's joined the pantheon of things I'm proud of.

"It’s very encouraging that you can take reality and dress it up and make people fall about laughing.

“Shock is an intrinsic part of comedy. The shock of the punchline from nowhere just gets people, they love it.”

After getting the complaints, Ofcom watching the stand-up routine and said that they found it didn't raise issues that warranted an official investigation under the Broadcasting Code.


An Ofcom spokesperson told The Scottish Sun: "We had two animal welfare complaints on this, related to a joke about a cat being run over.

"After careful assessment, Ofcom has decided not to pursue the complaints because they did not raise issues warranting investigation."

Billy Connolly showing off his CBE in 2003. Credit: Alamy
Billy Connolly showing off his CBE in 2003. Credit: Alamy

Last year, the comedian blasted 'cancel culture' and said he would never have made it in the stand up world if he was to start out today.


Speaking to a New Zealand radio station about his memoir Windswept he said: "Because of political correctness people have pulled in the horns. I couldn't have started today with the talent I had then.

"There's a show here in America with all Black comedians, men and women, and they are totally ruthless, they are totally without political correctness and they have always got me on the floor howling with laughter.

"There was a comedian who had a series on television and the suits involved were going to take it off at the first commercial break. They have got no bravery."

Featured Image Credit: Alamy

Topics: TV and Film, Animals

Rebecca Shepherd
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