A London comedy club has revealed it has a blacklist of 20 comics from the circuit and TV who are banned over allegations of sexual misconduct, abusive behaviour, or bullying.
West End Comedy Club, which opened two years ago, said the list has been compiled based on first hand and second hand reports from other acts, who they ‘trust not to maliciously throw false allegations’.
The club hasn’t disclosed who is on its blacklist but said it was ‘concerning’ how many acts had been reported to them.
The comedy scene has been rocked after allegations against Russell Brand emerged last month. Brand has been accused of rape, sexual assault and emotional abuse during the peak of his fame, claims he vehemently denies.
The club, which is just off Leicester Square, has hosted well-known comics such as Romesh Ranganathan, Maisie Adam and Harry Hill. Other comics who have performed at the club include Zoe Lyons, Ria Lina, Nick Helm, Munya Chawawa, Jamali Maddix, Lloyd Griffith, Sam Campbell and Jessica Fostekew.
The club does not allow those who have allegations of sexual misconduct, abusive behaviour or bullying – that they are aware of – to perform at the venue.
The club, which is just off Leicester Square, has hosted well-known comics
Harry Hill (pictured) also performed at West End Comedy Club this year
Other famous comics to have performed at the club include Romesh Ranganathan (pictured)
‘We of course don’t go actively looking for acts to blacklist but it’s concerning how many get reported to us.
‘The list includes comedians who make a living on the circuit and a few TV names,’ a spokesman for the club said.
Katherine Ryan has previously claimed to have called out predatory behaviour whilst working on a TV show with another comedian.
Speaking in an interview with Louis Theroux in 2022, she said the allegations against the unnamed man were an ‘open secret’.
In her chat with Theroux, Ms Ryan claimed she had received criticism afterwards for not naming the person in question in public, but said just talking about him was a ‘litigious minefield’ as he had ‘very good lawyers’.
The comedian added that it was ‘not my story to tell’ but that she believed the accusations as the sources were ‘very credible’.
Founded in August 2021, the West End Comedy Club has grown from Tuesday nights to running five nights a week come November.
Since it opened two years ago, West End Comedy Club has had performances from comics such as Maisie Adams
In June this year, the club launched a £500 bursary aimed at working class comedians debuting at the 2023 Edinburgh Fringe. Finalists pictured: Louise Atkinson, Alexandra Haddow, William Stone, Lachlan Werner, Jodie Mitchell
Jamali Maddix is pictured performing at the West End Comedy club
It is listed in the top ten London comedy clubs on TripAdvisor and welcomes hundreds of audience members every week.
In June this year, the club launched a £500 bursary aimed at working class comedians debuting at the 2023 Edinburgh Fringe. Alexandra Haddow won the grant and four other finalists who performed in the showcase received £100 each.
Joy Hunter, Live Comedy Producer at the West End Comedy Club, said: ‘I’m incredibly proud of what the West End Comedy Club has achieved in just over two years.
‘We’ve taken the comedy scene by storm with our dedication to supporting emerging talent, from our working class bursary to hosting Edinburgh Fringe previews.
‘This journey has been extraordinary, but we’ve got big ambitions and we’re just getting started.’