Here’s why Roy Chubby Brown is banned from Sheffield City Hall, what fans think and why councillors are debating it

Sheffield councillors are divided on whether controversial comedian Roy Chubby Brown should be allowed to appear at the City Hall. Officers provided a background Q&A for them which read something like this…

By Lucy Ashton, Local Democracy Reporter
Thursday, 7th October 2021, 11:25 am

Why is Roy Chubby Brown constantly in the news?

He was due to appear at Sheffield City Hall in January 2022 but in August Sheffield City Trust (SCT) decided to remove the booking because the show “did not reflect the charitable objectives of the trust”.

Did someone complain?

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Roy 'Chubby' Brown.

SCT and a number of councillors received emails from the Sheffield Race Equality Commission which said it was disappointed the show was being held at the City Hall.

It implored SCT to make a stand and asked the council to support it.

Were fans upset?

The City Hall expected to sell around 800 tickets but only 367 tickets had been sold – they were refunded.

There was a campaign to reinstate the show with a small protest outside the City Hall but an online petition has collected 42,000 signatures.

Why are councillors getting involved?

Although the council funds SCT, it doesn’t have any authority over show bookings.

The council says Roy Chubby Brown isn’t banned from Sheffield but it supports SCT’s decision not to host the show in a publicly funded venue.

Councillors had to discuss the comedian because any petition over 5,000 automatically prompts a debate at full council.

Why is the council against Roy Chubby Brown in particular?

The council says some shows have “gratuitously offensive” content against BAME people and Muslims

What about freedom of speech?

The Liberal Democrats have been very critical of the ban and have asked whether other comedians who tell offensive jokes will also be outlawed

Could other comedians get banned?

In the end, control over show bookings is the responsibility of SCT.

It says this booking was from 2019 and rescheduled for after the pandemic so it wasn’t reviewed in the same way that new bookings are.

SCT has assured the council there are now processes in place to ensure that each act is reviewed before bookings are taken.