Roy 'Chubby' Brown: Row after comedian banned from playing gig in Sheffield

More than 29,000 people have signed a petition after comedian Roy 'Chubby' Brown was banned from performing in Sheffield.

The 76-year-old, whose real name is Royston Vasey, was due to play at Sheffield City Hall in January, but the show was dropped after concerns over the nature of the comic's material.

Brown's material is considered by some to be racist and sexist, but his supporters have reacted angrily to the move.

Announcing the decision to cancel the gig, Sheffield City Trust's chief executive, Andrew Snelling, said: "We don't believe this show reflects Sheffield City Trust values."

He added: "We understand that some people will be disappointed with our decision but we must uphold the standards and values that we promote and expect across our venues."

Fans of the comic have been dressing like him in Sheffield City Centre to raise awareness of the petition. Credit: ITV News

The comedian has performed in the city for the last 30 years and posted on Facebook his "disappointment and sadness" at the decision to axe his show.

He added: "I just want to make it clear that it’s not the good people of Sheffield who want me banned! And I am so grateful for all their support and everyone else’s support around the country!

"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 generally."

The decision has been backed by the leader of Sheffield City Council, Terry Fox, and Sheffield MP Gill Furniss.

The leader of the Liberal Democrats in Sheffield City Council, Shaffaq Mohammed, told ITV News: "Most of the people signing that petition aren't Roy Chubby Brown fans just as I'm not. 

"So you know, you couldn't even pay me to go see Roy Chubby Brown, but that's not the issue for me any longer, it's about how this council and this organisation called Sheffield City Trust that most people in Sheffield have never heard of, how they are behaving and they think they can actually govern who we can see and what we can see and that's not what I want to see in a city like Sheffield."

Terry Fox said, in response to questions by Mr Mohammed about whether other comics will be banned said: "Just so that we are quite clear, SCT cancelled the show of this comedian. We are not in the game of banning and, if a private venue was to uptake the promotion of this, then it would be for them to balance those values off.

"That is where we stand and that is where we are. I was asked if I supported the action of SCT and I did. And that's where the matter ends for me.

"I made a public statement. We are for an inclusive city. Wherever I have a voice I will voice an inclusive city."

A protest has been planned to be held outside Sheffield City Hall in objection to the decision later this week.