Jury awards libel damages to Frankie Boyle

Mirror Group Newspapers found liable in relation to “racist comedian” allegation.

A jury has awarded comedian Frankie Boyle damages of £54,650 against Mirror Group Newspapers after a week-long trial. Mr Boyle, represented by 5RB’s David Sherborne, was awarded £50,400, the jury having found that an article in the Daily Mirror libelled him by calling him a “racist comedian”; and a further £4,250 over a claim in the article that he was “forced to quit” BBC TV show Mock the Week.

Mirror Group Newspapers, represented by Ronald Thwaites QC and 5RB’s Adam Wolanski defended the claim in justification and honest comment, showing the jury footage from Mr Boyle’s Channel 4 series Tramadol Nights and the BBC’s Mock the Week. Mr Boyle said that the newspaper had “misunderstood” the use of language in his jokes.

Mr Boyle’s claim in malicious falsehood was struck out by Mr Justice Eady, presiding, during the trial.