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Ricky Gervais slams ‘cancel culture’ and defends free speech

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ricky gervais slams cancel culture and defends free speech

Ricky Gervais has continued to slam ‘cancel culture’ as he defended the use of free speech in a new interview.

The comedian, 59, who delivered a series of controversial gags at the 77th Golden Globes awards ceremony back in January, described ‘wokeness’ as ‘a weird sort of fascism’ amid calls for ‘the free exchange of information and ideas.’

He said: ‘There’s this new weird sort of fascism of people thinking they know what you can say and what you can’t and it’s a really weird thing. Just because you’re offended it doesn’t mean you’re right.’

'Just because you're offended it doesn't mean you're right': Ricky Gervais slammed 'cancel culture' as he defended the use of free speech in a new interview (pictured in January)

'Just because you're offended it doesn't mean you're right': Ricky Gervais slammed 'cancel culture' as he defended the use of free speech in a new interview (pictured in January)

‘Just because you’re offended it doesn’t mean you’re right’: Ricky Gervais slammed ‘cancel culture’ as he defended the use of free speech in a new interview (pictured in January)

The After Life creator shared his thoughts on online shaming after 150 celebrated authors, academics and journalists including Margaret Atwood, Salman Rushdie, Martin Amis and Noam Chomsky signed a letter criticising ‘cancel culture’. 

The media personality said on talkRadio earlier this month: ‘There’s this new trendy myth that people who want free speech want to say awful things all the time. 

‘It’s just isn’t true, it protects everyone. If you’re mildly left-wing on Twitter, you’re suddenly Trotsky, right? 

‘If you’re mildly conservative, you’re Hitler and if you’re centrist and you look at both arguments, you’re a coward. Just because you’re offended it doesn’t mean you’re right.’

'There's this new trendy myth that people who want free speech want to say awful things all the time': The comedian, 59, described 'wokeness' as 'a sort of fascism' (pictured in 2019)

'There's this new trendy myth that people who want free speech want to say awful things all the time': The comedian, 59, described 'wokeness' as 'a sort of fascism' (pictured in 2019)

‘There’s this new trendy myth that people who want free speech want to say awful things all the time’: The comedian, 59, described ‘wokeness’ as ‘a sort of fascism’ (pictured in 2019)

'If you're mildly conservative, you're Hitler': The After Life creator shared his thoughts on online shaming amid calls for 'the free exchange of information and ideas' (pictured in March)

'If you're mildly conservative, you're Hitler': The After Life creator shared his thoughts on online shaming amid calls for 'the free exchange of information and ideas' (pictured in March)

‘If you’re mildly conservative, you’re Hitler’: The After Life creator shared his thoughts on online shaming amid calls for ‘the free exchange of information and ideas’ (pictured in March)

A few days earlier, the actor said his hit TV show The Office would struggle to air today due to online ‘outrage mobs’.

The screen star, who played David Brent in the BBC mockumentary, said broadcasters are now too afraid to take risks when it comes to content.

The programme, set at a paper firm in Slough, Berkshire, sees the character frequently insult minorities as he grapples with political correctness.

Yet The Office, which aired from 2001 to 2002, won numerous Baftas and Golden Globes and is widely seen as one of the best British comedies ever made.

'They take things out of context': A few days earlier, the actor said his hit TV show The Office (pictured as David Brent) would struggle to air today due to online 'outrage mobs'

'They take things out of context': A few days earlier, the actor said his hit TV show The Office (pictured as David Brent) would struggle to air today due to online 'outrage mobs'

‘They take things out of context’: A few days earlier, the actor said his hit TV show The Office (pictured as David Brent) would struggle to air today due to online ‘outrage mobs’ 

Ricky said viewers see Brent as a joke and are not laughing with him, but he fears any sense of irony is lost on audiences today. 

What does ‘cancel culture’ mean?

Cancel culture is a new phrase to describe a mob mentality to boycott certain products, people or programs.

It is most commonly associated with people who have caused offence through their actions or through something they have said.

But the concept has grown particularly prevalent over the past five years and is making it ‘difficult’ for comedians in particular – given certain comedic tropes have not aged well.

From the time #TaylorSwiftIsOverParty began trending on Twitter to JK Rowling being ‘cancelled’ for her divisive views on transgender people, the process involves refusing to celebrate or acknowledge a person or their work.

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He told Times Radio: ‘Now [The Office] would suffer because people would take things literally. There are these outrage mobs who take things out of context.

‘This was a show about everything — it was about difference, it was about sex, race, all the things that people fear to even be discussed or talked about now, in case they say the wrong thing and they are cancelled.

‘The BBC have got more and more careful, people want to keep their jobs, so would worry about some of the subjects and jokes, even though they were clearly ironic and we were laughing at this buffoon being uncomfortable around difference.

‘I think if this was put out now, some people have lost their sense of irony and context.’

His comments came on the 19th anniversary of The Office, which was also turned into a Christmas special in 2003 and a 2016 film spin off David Brent: Life on the Road.

In February, Ricky spoke out against the stars who used their acceptance speeches to lecture about politics, human rights and animal welfare at this year’s Academy Awards

The funnyman took to Twitter saying he ‘tried to warn’ the A-list stars not to preach, while viewers watching at home called the event the ‘wokest Oscars ever’. 

He wrote: ‘I have nothing against the most famous people in the world using their privileged, global platform to tell the world what they believe. I even agree with most of it. 

‘I just tried to warn them that when they lecture everyday, hard working people, it has the opposite effect. Peace.’ 

Last week, a group of public figures signed a letter which hit out at ‘cancel culture’ after JK Rowling was accused of ridiculing women being called ‘people who menstruate’.  

Taking a stand: Last week, a group of public figures signed a letter which hit out at 'cancel culture' after JK Rowling (pictured in 2019) was accused of transphobia

Taking a stand: Last week, a group of public figures signed a letter which hit out at 'cancel culture' after JK Rowling (pictured in 2019) was accused of transphobia

Taking a stand: Last week, a group of public figures signed a letter which hit out at ‘cancel culture’ after JK Rowling (pictured in 2019) was accused of transphobia 

The Harry Potter author, 54, backed the movement, spearheaded by Pulitzer-prize winning writer Anne Applebaum who warned ‘Twitter mobs’ including Donald Trump were placing ‘very important restraints on freedom of speech’.

She told the BBC: ‘There are a lot of writers, artists and journalists who are afraid of approaching certain subjects, afraid of crossing lines or even lacking sufficient zeal for particular subjects because they’re afraid of their peers.’

Margaret, the author of The Handmaid’s Tale, added her name despite publicly disagreeing with the Harry Potter author.

The letter has been supported by household names from the left and right-wings of the political spectrum who have united around the cause.

The document, published in Harper’s, calls for: ‘The free exchange of information and ideas, the lifeblood of a liberal society, is daily becoming more constricted and demands that they want to uphold the value of robust and even caustic counter speech from all quarters.’ 

It adds: ‘It is now all too common to hear calls for swift and severe retribution in response to perceived transgressions of speech and thought.’

Controversy: The Harry Potter author, 54, was criticised for ridiculing women being called 'people who menstruate' in a tweet shared last month

Controversy: The Harry Potter author, 54, was criticised for ridiculing women being called 'people who menstruate' in a tweet shared last month

Controversy: The Harry Potter author, 54, was criticised for ridiculing women being called ‘people who menstruate’ in a tweet shared last month

Speaking out: Her remarks sparked backlash from a range of her former Harry Potter castmembers including Rupert Grint, 31 (pictured in 2019) and Emma Watson

Speaking out: Her remarks sparked backlash from a range of her former Harry Potter castmembers including Rupert Grint, 31 (pictured in 2019) and Emma Watson

Speaking out: Her remarks sparked backlash from a range of her former Harry Potter castmembers including Rupert Grint, 31 (pictured in 2019) and Emma Watson

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‘You daft motherf****r!’: Shocking moment Starbucks customer erupts in furious foul-mouthed rant

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you daft motherfr shocking moment starbucks customer erupts in furious foul mouthed rant

A Starbucks customer has been caught erupting into a furious foul-mouthed rant after a server ‘spilled coffee on him’.

The driver got out of his car at a drive-thru in Huddersfield, West Yorkshire, before repeatedly calling a female staffer a ‘sl*t’.

Footage of the verbal attack was posted to social media on Wednesday with viewers slamming the man’s response to allegedly having coffee spilled on him.

The clip, which is a minute-and-a-half long, was taken by the driver’s passenger and showed him ranting at a Starbucks worker while standing outside of his car.

The driver (pictured left) got out of his car at a drive-thru in Huddersfield, West Yorkshire, before repeatedly calling a female staffer a 'sl*t'

The driver (pictured left) got out of his car at a drive-thru in Huddersfield, West Yorkshire, before repeatedly calling a female staffer a ‘sl*t’

The worker calmly leaned against the drive-thru’s window frame as he listened to the customer’s vicious tirade of foul-language and insults. 

The customer shouts: ‘I bought a coffee. She was holding it from the top. She splashed the lid. You daft motherf***er.’

The worker quickly interrupted him with ‘there’s no need to swear’ but it did little to stem the angry customer’s rant.

The man added: ‘She splashed the lid and it’s burnt my hand. Do you understand.;

The worker calmly leaned against the drive-thru's window frame as he listened to the customer's vicious tirade of foul-language and insults

The worker calmly leaned against the drive-thru’s window frame as he listened to the customer’s vicious tirade of foul-language and insults

The worker continued to explain that he would ‘sort it’, but the customer was not appeased.

‘You understand you daft motherf***er. It burned my hand,’ he said. ‘That’s not no hire car that’s cash paid. Tell that s**t it’s cash paid.’

The worker said: ‘Alright but no swearing. We’ll sort this out.’

The customer shouted louder, saying: ‘You’ve burned my f***ing hand. You understand. You’re telling me it’s my f***ing fault. You’re serving me. You’ve handed the coffee out. You’ve burned my f***ing hand. Are you f***ing listening.’

The employee said: ‘I haven’t burned your hand. I’m just trying to sort it out but then you’re calling me a fat f**k.’

The female staff member - thought to be the object of his fury - then appeared at the window and shouted something inaudible at the man

The driver continued to call her a 'sl**' before getting into his car and slamming the door

The female staff member – thought to be the object of his fury – then appeared at the window and shouted something inaudible at the man

Pointing to his car the man said: ‘Too right we’re going to sort this out. Look at what she’s done. You’re going to pay for that as well. It’s not a hire car it’s cash paid.’  

The female staff member – thought to be the object of his fury – then appeared at the window and shouted something inaudible at the man. 

The driver continued to call her a ‘sl**’ before getting into his car and slamming the door. 

The woman tried to argue back and he said: ‘Come here you little sl**.’ 

The manager then told the man to drive ‘around the front’ of the shop where they could solve the issue out of the way of other customers. 

The clip, which is a minute-and-a-half long, was taken by the driver's passenger and showed him ranting at a Starbucks worker

The clip, which is a minute-and-a-half long, was taken by the driver’s passenger and showed him ranting at a Starbucks worker

He said: ‘This is a f***ing hundred grand motor. Are you going to pay me. I’m going around front.’ 

The explosive scene was shared on Facebook yesterday by user Sian Banham who called the man’s actions ‘vile.’ 

Her thoughts were echoed by hundreds of other people. Julie Kearney wrote: ‘Pure d***, accidents happen.’ 

‘Should have jumped the counter and nutted him.’ Donna Morgan added: ‘The first time he swore and called her slag those windows would have been closed. 

‘He was so aggressive I actually would have called the police.

Wayne Hills wrote: ‘God he had patience I would have knocked him out rude t***.’ 

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Lonely widower left in tears after THOUSANDS of strangers from all over the world get in touch 

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lonely widower left in tears after thousands of strangers from all over the world get in touch

A lonely OAP who put up a poster asking for friends after his wife died has been inundated with thousands of calls and emails from people who want to be his pal.

Tony Williams, 75, has received so many emails they crashed his inbox and he has had 100s of phone calls from new friends around the world.

People from America, Germany, Holland, Australia, Egypt, India and Japan have been in touch inviting him on road trips to the US or for an afternoon drinking G&Ts.

Others have offered Tony, a retired physicist lunches, phone calls and for their kids to adopt him as a grandfather.

Lonely Tony Williams, 75, who lives in Alton, East Hampshire, has received so many emails they crashed his inbox and he has had 100s of phone calls from new friends around the world

Lonely Tony Williams, 75, who lives in Alton, East Hampshire, has received so many emails they crashed his inbox and he has had 100s of phone calls from new friends around the world

Tony, who lives in Alton, East Hampshire, said: ‘The love and compassion people have shown has actually brought tears to my eyes.

‘People have sent me the most delightful emails. They’ve sent me pictures of their kids, their pets, told me about their aspirations and telling me they are thinking of me.

‘I got an email from a local teacher asking if children in her class could write me letters.

‘I got in touch with her straight away and said it would be delightful. I would love that.

Tony said he was left without anyone to speak to after his wife Jo, 75, passed away in May, just nine days after she was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer

Tony said he was left without anyone to speak to after his wife Jo, 75, passed away in May, just nine days after she was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer

Tony's neighbours said they have offered to help him - but he wants a friend of his own age to pass the time

Tony’s neighbours said they have offered to help him – but he wants a friend of his own age to pass the time

People have even been phoning Mr Williams from Canada and the United States.

‘One lady phoned up and said if I get on a plane sometime she would pick me up and show me her area of Florida.

‘Another lady who lives relatively nearby has invited me round for a G&T which I’ll be keen to do.

‘I’ve had others reach out from Germany, Holland, Australia, Egypt, India and Japan. It’s just been gorgeous.

He would often be sat at home willing the phone to ring - 'but it never does' - and he said he feels 'cursed' by loneliness. Pictured: Tony now receives calls from Canada and the United States

He would often be sat at home willing the phone to ring – ‘but it never does’ – and he said he feels ‘cursed’ by loneliness. Pictured: Tony now receives calls from Canada and the United States

‘When I started responding they were coming in thick and fast. I would say about four or five a minute.

‘The thing is, I can’t respond now, as my email account seems to have crashed. A red message came up saying there was some sort of error and it needs to be reset.’

Tony and late wife Jo moved near to Alton last year so Jo could be closer to her sister, Beryl, 73.

But he said he was left without anyone to speak to after his wife Jo, 75, passed away in May, just nine days after she was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.

Tony married Jo, a secretary, A marriage to a woman he met at University College London (UCL) broke down, and in 1982 he married Jo, a secretary

Tony married Jo, a secretary, A marriage to a woman he met at University College London (UCL) broke down, and in 1982 he married Jo, a secretary

They were unable to have children and he said he often sat at home willing the phone to ring – ‘but it never does’ – and he said he feels ‘cursed’ by loneliness.

Tony’s neighbours said they have offered to help him – but he wants a friend of his own age to pass the time.

Without any family nearby, Tony put two adverts in his local newspaper looking for a friend to chat to, but didn’t get any replies.

In a bid to find a pal to listen to music with, or just chat in the garden, Tony had business cards made, to hand out when he went to the supermarket or out for a walk.

Chatty Tony handed out dozens without receiving a call back, so decided to put a poster up in his window asking for pals.

But now, after spending a summer ‘waiting for the phone to ring’, Tony has been swamped by the responses.

He is enjoying chatting on the phone to strangers – now friends – from around the world, and plans to meet up with his new pals once Covid restrictions allow.

‘I’ve just been completely overwhelmed and am so thankful for it all,’ he said. 

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Heartbreaking moment vintage £60,000 pink VW camper van is submerged by sea water

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heartbreaking moment vintage 60000 pink vw camper van is submerged by sea water

These dramatic photos show the heart-breaking moment a businesswoman’s vintage VW Camper worth £60,000 got stuck on a beach and covered by the incoming tide.

Owner Kitty Orme, 41, said it was ‘devastating’ to watch as her pride and joy, which dates back to 1978, was swallowed up by the waves during a promotional photo-shoot.

Photos show the beautiful pink motor in five feet of water, with just the top of it peering above the waterline on Black Rock Sands in North Wales.

Pictured: The heartbreaking moment the vintage £60,000 pink VW camper van is submerged by sea water after it got stuck on the beach during a promotional photo shoot in North Wales

Pictured: The heartbreaking moment the vintage £60,000 pink VW camper van is submerged by sea water after it got stuck on the beach during a promotional photo shoot in North Wales

The van, dubbed Birdie by its owner Ms Orme, has been completely destroyed by the sea water

The van, dubbed Birdie by its owner Ms Orme, has been completely destroyed by the sea water

The vehicle and the van towing it were submerged in more than five feet of water on the beach

The vehicle and the van towing it were submerged in more than five feet of water on the beach

Owner Kitty Orme uses the van for photo shoots during weddings and the incident came as a second devastating blow after her business already suffered during the Covid-19 pandemic

Owner Kitty Orme uses the van for photo shoots during weddings and the incident came as a second devastating blow after her business already suffered during the Covid-19 pandemic

Luckily it didn’t float away and could be retrieved from the beach in North Wales after the tide went back out, however, Ms Orme said it has still been ‘destroyed’.

The incident happened on Tuesday, when Ms Orme was hosting a promotional photoshoot on the beach with her car, which she affectionately named Birdie.

She went to move the Camper at around 4pm when the tide started coming in but was unable to because the wheels were stuck in the sand.

Ms Orme enlisted the help of locals to try and help tow her to safety, but their efforts were in vain and all she could do was watch as the water submerged the car.

It was recovered hours later close to midnight.

Ms Orme said: ‘It was absolutely horrendous to see. That Camper is my pride and joy and so important to me, to see it end up like that was heartbreaking.’

Ms Orme uses uses the vehicle as a photo booth and for photo shoots at weddings

Ms Orme uses uses the vehicle as a photo booth and for photo shoots at weddings

The bright pink VW campervan was wrecked when a wedding instagram shoot went wrong

The bright pink VW campervan was wrecked when a wedding instagram shoot went wrong

Ms Orme has set up a crowdfunding page to help cover the costs of the incident this week

Ms Orme has set up a crowdfunding page to help cover the costs of the incident this week

Ms Orme uses Birdie as a photo booth on wheels and travels the country to weddings and festivals.

Her business was hit hard by the pandemic and Tuesday’s incident has served as a second devastating blow.

She said: ‘Wedding suppliers are already in a dreadful position, being unable to work and know when weddings of larger numbers will happen again.

‘The accident on Tuesday is going to effect many people.’

Because Ms Orme was hosting a shoot a number of traders had their valuable bespoke items on board, lots of which were destroyed by the water.

She has set up a crowdfunding page to help raise money for all those affected and to show their gratitude to the coastguard who helped them recover the vehicle.

Donate here: https://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/save-birdie

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