SCOTLAND’S comedy king has leaped to the defence of under fire stand-up Frankie Boyle – insisting the target of his jokes Katie Price was “fair game”.
Boyle has faced a wave of criticism over a gag implying Price and ex Peter Andre didn’t want to keep her disabled son Harvey.
He said: “Jordan and Peter Andre are still fighting each other over the custody of Harvey.
“Eventually one of them will lose and have to keep him.”
But Price reacted furiously and vowed to sue the 38-year-old Scot, while others lambasted the comic online and in print.
Sheppard, who help support the early careers of popular comics such as Stewart Lee, Johnny Vegas, Dara O’Briain, Michael McIntyre and Boyle, said: “I think it’s a joke that has been misinterpreted.
“The brunt of that joke is Katie Price.
“The reason people find it funny is because it is plausible that that artificial creature would do such a thing.
“Of course it’s absurd.
“But it is not beyond reason that people would find it believable of Katie Price.
“The point is, she is fair game. A comic assault of this nature is reasonable.
“Plus he’s been doing that joke for about a year – so the reaction’s come a bit late in the day.”
There has been a furious backlash against both Boyle and Channel 4 show who repeated the episode Tramadol Nights which caused offence.
But Mr Sheppard said: “I do not see it as an attack on an eight-year-old boy but it is an attack on a shallow individual who would sell anything she could.
“I think people should talk about racism without being racist.
“Where I draw the line is when the joke is: A. manifestly unfair or B. contributing to the suppression of the victim.
“Comedy has the theoretic power to demonise people and victimise, there is a line there certainly.
“That is not a line that Frankie Boyle has crossed.
“If I hear people getting a cheap line out of someone’s oppression they wouldn’t get on to one of my stages.
“We’re talking about shades of grey, what is one person’s comedy is another’s tragedy.
“People have got the wrong end of the stick.
“Why would Frankie Boyle pick on a disabled boy? He’s not fair game – but his mother certainly is.
“Speaking as someone who knows him, he’s one of the good guys and the people he decides to pick on are deserving of it.
“He’s a progressive person who is against the injustice of people being put down.”
Frankie Boyle’s Tramadol Night’s airs on Tuesday’s at 10pm on Channel 4 with three programmes left in the series.