Objections after Roy Chubby Brown has show axed – echoing Ashfield five years ago

More than 25,000 people have signed a petition calling for a council to reinstate a Roy Chubby Brown gig in Sheffield – compared with just 500 when a show in Kirkby was axed.

By Jon Ball
Wednesday, 8th September 2021, 11:42 am

The controversial comedian hit the headlines in 2016 when Ashfield Council cancelled his planned show at Kirkby’s Festival Hall.

At the time, a council spokesman said: “The council does not feel the booking was appropriate for a council venue and not one it wished to be associated with.”

An online petition urging Cheryl Butler, then Labour leader of the authority, to allow Brown to perform attracted just 539 signatures.

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Roy 'Chubby' Brown's show in Sheffield has been axed (Photo: Getty)

However, since Sheffield Council this week cancelled a Brown show at Sheffield City Hall, protests have been planned in the city, while an online petition has gained more than 28,000 names.

The council said: “We don’t believe this show reflects Sheffield City Trust values, particularly our ambition that our leisure, culture and entertainment venues are inclusive for all.”

Brown – real name Royston Vasey – said: “At first I had a sense of anger and disbelief, but on reflection I now feel just disappointment and sadness with the decision and the way things are going.

“I have been performing at the City Hall for the last 30-plus years.

“Now, in these strange times of snowflakes and political correctness, it has been decided I am no longer welcome. Why now is my question.”

After his Kirkby show was axed five years ago, the 76-year-old said: “It’s happened to me before. If they don’t want me, it’s not the type of venue I want to play.”

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‘Bizarre moment’

Lee Anderson, Conservative MP for Ashfield, was a serving Labour councillor on the then Labour-run Ashfield Council when Brown’s Kirkby show was axed.

Writing about his switch to the Tories ahead of his election in 2019, he said: “I remember one bizarre moment a few years ago when Chubby Brown came to do a gig in Ashfield.

“Chubby’s brand of off-colour humour is not to my taste, but he has a big following around here.

“But, of course, the Labour council, which owned the venue, banned the show because it ‘did not wish to be associated’ with him. It was a classic example of how the party had lost connection with its core voters.”

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