Comedian's Whitchurch show cancelled over racist 'jokes' about England stars

A comedian who made racist 'jokes' about England's footballers has had his visit to Shropshire cancelled.

Andrew Lawrence
Andrew Lawrence

Andrew Lawrence, who has appeared on hit shows such as Live At The Apollo and Michael McIntyre's Comedy Roadshow, was due to perform at The White Bear in Whitchurch on Saturday night.

But landlord Ben Miller said he would "100 per cent not have him here" after comments made in the aftermath of England's penalty shoot-out defeat against Italy in the Euro 2020 final on Sunday.

In one comment, Lawrence, 41, said he was "sorry that black guys are bad at penalties". And, referring to the anti-poverty campaigning of Marcus Rashford - one of those to miss a penalty - he said he would "rather he'd (Rashford) practised his penalties and the kids had gone hungry".

Ben confirmed that Britain's Got Talent finalist Nick Page will be the replacement headliner for Saturday's show.

"We knew about it yesterday morning," he said. "He has been cancelled. We did it straight away before it was all over the media. We've just been waiting to get a replacement headliner before announcing it.

"It's a shame, but I 100 per cent would not have him here, not after that."

Fans have been posting messages of support on a mural of Marcus Rashford after it was defaced. Photo: Martin Rickett/PA Wire

A statement on The White Bear's Facebook page said: "Important announcement! Our comedy night on Saturday will go ahead as planned but we have cancelled our headline act - Andrew Lawrence after his racist football tweets. We will never support any form of racism or discrimination! He was cancelled yesterday morning as soon as we found out but held off posting anything until we found a new headliner.

"So it gives me great pleasure to announce that Nick Page will be performing here on Saturday. He was a finalist on Britain's Got Talent 2018 and British Comedy act of the Year 2020!

"Tickets are still available at or contact us directly for more info!"

Lawrence's agents also revealed they had cut ties with the comedian.

England's trio of stars who missed their spot-kicks, Rashford, Jadon Sancho and Bukayo Saka, came in for a torrent of vile abuse after their misfortune, leading to widespread condemnation including from The FA, Prince William and Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

In Shropshire, former parish councillor Paul Bradbury resigned from his role after racist slurs were posted on his Facebook page. One expletive-laden posts on his page questioned the Black Lives Matter movement, and another said: “Whites only in future England teams”.

A post on Councillor Paul Bradbury's Facebook page

He resigned from his seat on Pontesbury Parish Council, and the council distanced itself from the remarks, with a spokeswoman saying: "Pontesbury Parish Council is aware of comments made on Facebook by a former member of the parish council. They are made by an individual not representing this council. We found these comments strongly offensive, and do not tolerate racism of any kind.

“The council have reported this serious matter to the police and are currently assisting them with their enquiries. The council distances itself from these comments. The chairman has accepted his resignation from Pontesbury Parish Council.”

Police confirmed a man in his 60s from Minsterley was arrested on suspicion of inciting racial hatred and currently remains in police custody.

Chief Inspector Mark Reilly said: “We want to be absolutely clear – we have a zero tolerance policy for discrimination in all forms, including online abuse. We will investigate reports and act.”

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