Russell Howard says he ‘did the right thing’ over audience filming controversy

Comedian Russell Howard said he “probably did the right thing” in walking off stage mid-set after a woman in the crowd started filming him.

The comic reportedly ended a performance early in Bristol last month after taking issue with an audience member pointing her phone at him.

He reportedly told the woman to “live in the moment,” before walking off stage.

Russell Howard
Russell Howard walked off stage after a woman in the audience started filming him (Isabel Infantes/PA Wire)

Howard said other performers would back his decision.

He said: “I was amazed that it went as big as it did, because you know, there’s a lot going on in the world at the moment, but apparently a wonky-eyed comedian telling a lady to live in the moment trumped all of that.

“You won’t find any kind of artist, or performer, or comedian, or musician that would feel differently. Particularly if you’re doing a small gig, and somebody’s recording it, it’s not going to be good for you and it’s not going to be good for the performer.

“It’s just pretty simple. But I dunno, I was surprised at how crazy it went. But I think I probably did the right thing.”

Comedians frequently require audience members to leave their phones switched off during gigs.

Saturday Night Live star Pete Davidson reportedly asked fans to sign a non-disclosure agreement before a performance in San Francisco last year. The fine for breaking the NDA was one million dollars.

Dave Chappelle also bars phones from his sets, and many performers fear their material leaking.

Series four of The Russell Howard Hour premieres on September 10 at 10pm on Sky One and NOWTV. Howard’s rescheduled world stand-up tour, Respite, begins February 25 2021.

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