Roy 'Chubby' Brown: Protest held in Sheffield over cancelled comic's show

Protesters took to the steps of Sheffield City Hall this morning to make their voices heard over the decision to cancel the Roy "Chubby" Brown gig in the city.

Around 15 people joined the protest, some dressed in the comic's trademark patchwork suit and flying hat and goggles, although an online petition has received almost 36,000 signatures.

The show was cancelled by the Sheffield City Trust because they don't believe the material of the show reflects their values.

The comedian is considered by some to be sexist and racist - a spokesperson for the comedian denied that he was racist, homophobic or sexist and that he thanked his fans for fighting on his behalf.

The decision to ban Chubby Brown has sparked a row about freedom of speech. Credit: ITV News

The free speech campaign group the Freedom Association added its voice to calls for the gig to go ahead today.

Andrew Allison, from the group, said: "It's censorship, simple as that.  We may as well go back to burning books at this rate, this is the sort of thing. Just let Roy Chubby Brown do his show. 

"All those people who want to watch Roy Chubby Brown let them go and watch the show and to all those people who think "well this is offensive and it shouldn't be allowed to happen" - easy - don't buy a ticket."

Hayley Madden, who started the petition, said that despite the small turnout she is still confident that the decision can be reversed.

Sheffield City Council says it stills support the decision to cancel the show and people's right to peacefully protest.  

"We continue to support Sheffield City Trust's (SCT) decision to remove the Roy Chubby Brown show from the City Hall programme in 2022.

"This reflects our values as a city, in Sheffield we promote inclusivity, and we champion and celebrate diversity.

"We are not suggesting that Roy Chubby Brown or similar events should be banned from Sheffield, but the crucial thing here is that the City Hall is supported by council funding, therefore public money, as such we support the Trust's decision. 

"If, however, the show was to go ahead at another venue in Sheffield that wasn't supported by council funding, that would be for the independent venue to balance with their own values. 

"I understand, however, that a lot of people are disappointed and do not agree with SCT's decision, and we respect their right to peacefully protest about the matter."

The decision has been criticised by the leader of the Liberal Democrats at Sheffield City Council, Shaffaq Mohammed, who said that he didn't want to see the city governed in this way.