BBC defends Have I Got News For You after Jeremy Corbyn joke

The BBC has defended an episode of Have I Got News For You after it featured a joke about bombing Glastonbury to get rid of Jeremy Corbyn supporters.

Comedian Fin Taylor said on the BBC One panel show that his “relationship with Corbyn is like Bob Dylan, in that I only hate him so much because of his fans”, who he called “fanatics”.

And he added: “So all you’ve got to do is, next year, bomb Glastonbury, hopefully Dylan’s headlining. Two birds, one stone.”

The BBC said in a statement: “After more than 30 years on air, Have I Got News For You is a well-established comedy series that has built a reputation for irreverent humour and satire.

“Regular viewers expect the panellists to make jokes and understand that contributions are intended to be funny and amusing, and this edition was no exception.

“It was clear that comedian Fin Taylor was talking about an utterly absurd scenario, in which he compared Jeremy Corbyn to Bob Dylan, and was in no way whatsoever to be taken seriously.”

The BBC previously ruled that a joke by Jo Brand, on BBC Radio 4 programme Heresy and about throwing battery acid at politicians, “went beyond what was appropriate” for a Radio 4 comedy show.