SCOTLAND’S most shocking comedian has unveiled a rarely-glimpsed scholarly side by agreeing to back a campaign to support libraries.
Frankie Boyle, who has packed out venues such as the Hammersmith Apollo, London, Edinburgh Playhouse and Glasgow’s SECC with his controversial quips, will launch the campaign at the less glamorous setting of Dalkeith Library, Midlothian.
The former star of Mock the Week star will appear at the library as part of Love Your Library Day on February 4.
The stand-up will be joined at the event by fellow comedian Mile Jupp, who is best known for his role as Archie in the kid’s TV show Balamory.
The unlikely role for Boyle, who has previously cause outrage by joking about disabled children, came about by chance after Miles’ older brother Ed – who works as a librarian inMidlothian– was asked by management to help promote the event.
Ed asked Miles if he’d be willing to take part – and within an hour Miles had roped in pal Boyle as well.
Ed, who is based in Loanhead, said: “Miles said he was up for it and he said he thought Frankie would be too. So I emailed him and within an hour he replied to say he was.
“I’ve known Frankie for around a decade myself.”
Miles, who has also appeared on Have I Got News for You and in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, has been friends with Boyle since they began on the comedy circuit.
Ed, who has lived in the area since his student days, said the unpredictable funnyman had promised to behave.
Miles said: “We know it’s an afternoon event with families there. Frankie is actually a very ‘booky’ person and he reads a lot. He takes books very seriously.”
Ed added: “Frankie does have a sense of occasion and he is actually an astute and clever individual. He’s sometimes taken out of context.”
At the Dalkeith event Boyle and Jupp will read from their own books as well as interviewing each other and answering questions from members of the public.
Boyle’s appearance is likely to raise eyebrows after he a number of his jokes attracted criticism.
In April 2010 the BBC was forced to apologise following an anti-Semitic joke on Radio 4.
The same month he was slammed for poking fun at children with Down’s syndrome, then attacking the parents of a child with the condition when they objected to the joke.
While in December last year glamour model Katie Price urged people to boycott Channel 4 after Boyle made a joke about her disabled son, Harvey.
The comedian also came under attack from AIDs and cancer charities.
In an episode of his Channel 4 TV show, Tramadol Nights, Boyle claimed he had a “friend” who had breast cancer. He joked she would not care because she is dead.
He then said AIDS sufferers were catching the devastating disease by having sex with monkeys.