Ricky Gervais calls BBC out for hypocritical treatment of Jo Brand and Danny Baker

Ricky Gervais, Jo Brand and Danny Baker.

Ricky Gervais has said "you can't pick and choose what's okay to joke about" amid calls for the BBC to sack Jo Brand.

The BBC has defended Brand over a joke she made about throwing battery acid at politicians. But this has led to some public outrage after Radio 5 presenter Danny Baker was sacked last month for sharing an image of chimpanzee on Twitter in response to the birth of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex's son Archie.

Gervais told Yahoo UK: "Freedom of speech is not being free of any consequences, it's being free of prosecution, and no one should be prosecuted for a joke. Now your employers might have something different to say, but a joke is a joke."

The Office star went on: "What does annoy me is the hypocrisy of depending on whose side that person - the left support support a left wing person and the right support a right wing person. The merits of a joke and principal in general should not be swayed by whose side that person is on politically. And that's what people don't like.

"It's crazy for me, any controversy over a joke, but you cant have it both ways. You can't say one joke's okay he didn't mean it, and no he's a terrible person. It doesn't sit well with me. Either jokes are allowed or they're not, you can't pick and choose what's okay to joke about."

The 57-year-old comedian was speaking at the Variety European TV Summit in London where he discussed his new Netflix show Afterlife which has just been commissioned for a second series.

Gervais admitted the show, about a widow whose wife has died of cancer, provoked a mixed response from viewers.

The actor, writer and director said of jokes: "Just because you're offended, doesn't mean you're right. I've never had a complaint upheld. A complaint means nothing. You can't say anything that someone, somewhere, won't be offended by."

Nigel Farage has called for police to charge Brand with inciting violence following the comment she made on Radio 4 show Heresy on Tuesday about the spate of milkshakes thrown at Farage and other politicians lobbying during last month's European Elections.

Brand quipped: "Why bother with a milkshake when you could get some battery acid?"

The BBC has Brand's remark, saying: "Heresy is a long-running comedy programme where, as the title implies and as our listeners know, panellists often say things which are deliberately provocative but are not intended to be taken seriously."

But outspoken TV presenter Piers Morgan joined those on social media linking Brand's comment, linking it to former Radio 5 host Danny Baker.

He said: "Why did the BBC instantly sack Danny Baker for an offensive royal baby tweet but won't sack Jo Brand?"

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Nigel Farage hit with milkshake
NEWCASTLE-UPON-TYNE, ENGLAND - MAY 20: Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage is escorted to a car after having what is thought to be milkshake thrown over him as he visits Northumberland Street in Newcastle Upon Tyne during a whistle stop UK tour on May 20, 2019 in Newcastle Upon Tyne, England. The visit to Newcastle comes ahead of the 2019 European elections in the United Kingdom which will take place on May 23. The Brexit Party is a pro-Brexit Eurosceptic political party formed in 2019. Nigel Farage, the former leader of the U.K. Independence Party, is campaigning for the Brexit Party's contest for this month's European Parliament elections. The Brexit Party is reported to be polling in front of Labour and the Conservatives for the European parliament elections. (Photo by Ian Forsyth/Getty Images)
NEWCASTLE-UPON-TYNE, ENGLAND - MAY 20: Paul Crowther (grey t-shirt) is pulled away by security and held by police after throwing what was thought to be milkshake over Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage visits Northumberland Street in Newcastle Upon Tyne during a whistle stop UK tour on May 20, 2019 in Newcastle Upon Tyne, England. The visit to Newcastle comes ahead of the 2019 European elections in the United Kingdom which will take place on May 23. The Brexit Party is a pro-Brexit Eurosceptic political party formed in 2019. Nigel Farage, the former leader of the U.K. Independence Party, is campaigning for the Brexit Party's contest for this month's European Parliament elections. The Brexit Party is reported to be polling in front of Labour and the Conservatives for the European parliament elections. (Photo by Ian Forsyth/Getty Images)
Nigel Farage after he was doused in milkshake during a campaign walkabout in Newcastle.
Nigel Farage after he was doused in milkshake during a campaign walkabout in Newcastle.
Nigel Farage after he was doused in milkshake during a campaign walkabout in Newcastle.
Paul Crowther, 32, from Throckley, Newcastle, speaks to police after Nigel Farage was hit with a milkshake in Newcastle city centre during a Brexit Party walkabout.
The empty milkshake cup from Five Guys which is believed to have been emptied on Nigel Farage in Newcastle city centre during a Brexit Party walkabout.
Paul Crowther, 32, from Throckley, Newcastle, speaks to police after Nigel Farage was hit with a milkshake in Newcastle city centre during a Brexit Party walkabout.
NEWCASTLE-UPON-TYNE, ENGLAND - MAY 20: Paul Crowther (R) is pulled away by security and held by police after throwing what was thought to be milkshake over Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage in Northumberland Street in Newcastle Upon Tyne during a whistle stop UK tour on May 20, 2019 in Newcastle Upon Tyne, England. Nigel Farage's visit to Newcastle comes ahead of the 2019 European elections in the United Kingdom which will take place on May 23. The Brexit Party, a pro-Brexit Eurosceptic political party formed in 2019, is reported to be polling in front of Labour and the Conservatives for the European parliament elections. (Photo by Ian Forsyth/Getty Images)
NEWCASTLE-UPON-TYNE, ENGLAND - MAY 20: Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage (R) has what is thought to have been a milkshake thrown over him as he visits Northumberland Street in Newcastle Upon Tyne during a whistle stop UK tour on May 20, 2019 in Newcastle Upon Tyne, England. His visit to Newcastle comes ahead of the 2019 European elections in the United Kingdom which will take place on May 23. The Brexit Party, a pro-Brexit Eurosceptic political party formed in 2019, is reported to be polling in front of Labour and the Conservatives for the European parliament elections. (Photo by Ian Forsyth/Getty Images)
NEWCASTLE-UPON-TYNE, ENGLAND - MAY 20: Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage is escorted to a car after having what is thought to be milkshake thrown over him as he visits Northumberland Street in Newcastle Upon Tyne during a whistle stop UK tour on May 20, 2019 in Newcastle Upon Tyne, England. The visit to Newcastle comes ahead of the 2019 European elections in the United Kingdom which will take place on May 23. The Brexit Party is a pro-Brexit Eurosceptic political party formed in 2019. Nigel Farage, the former leader of the U.K. Independence Party, is campaigning for the Brexit Party's contest for this month's European Parliament elections. The Brexit Party is reported to be polling in front of Labour and the Conservatives for the European parliament elections. (Photo by Ian Forsyth/Getty Images)
NEWCASTLE-UPON-TYNE, ENGLAND - MAY 20: Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage is escorted to a car after having what is thought to be milkshake thrown over him as he visits Northumberland Street in Newcastle Upon Tyne during a whistle stop UK tour on May 20, 2019 in Newcastle Upon Tyne, England. The visit to Newcastle comes ahead of the 2019 European elections in the United Kingdom which will take place on May 23. The Brexit Party is a pro-Brexit Eurosceptic political party formed in 2019. Nigel Farage, the former leader of the U.K. Independence Party, is campaigning for the Brexit Party's contest for this month's European Parliament elections. The Brexit Party is reported to be polling in front of Labour and the Conservatives for the European parliament elections. (Photo by Ian Forsyth/Getty Images)
NEWCASTLE-UPON-TYNE, ENGLAND - MAY 20: Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage has what is thought to have been a milkshake thrown over him as he visits Northumberland Street in Newcastle Upon Tyne during a whistle stop UK tour on May 20, 2019 in Newcastle Upon Tyne, England. His visit to Newcastle comes ahead of the 2019 European elections in the United Kingdom which will take place on May 23. The Brexit Party, a pro-Brexit Eurosceptic political party formed in 2019, is reported to be polling in front of Labour and the Conservatives for the European parliament elections. (Photo by Ian Forsyth/Getty Images)
NEWCASTLE-UPON-TYNE, ENGLAND - MAY 20: Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage (L) has what is thought to have been a milkshake thrown over him as he visits Northumberland Street in Newcastle Upon Tyne during a whistle stop UK tour on May 20, 2019 in Newcastle Upon Tyne, England. His visit to Newcastle comes ahead of the 2019 European elections in the United Kingdom which will take place on May 23. The Brexit Party, a pro-Brexit Eurosceptic political party formed in 2019, is reported to be polling in front of Labour and the Conservatives for the European parliament elections. (Photo by Ian Forsyth/Getty Images)
NEWCASTLE-UPON-TYNE, ENGLAND - MAY 20: Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage (R) has what is thought to have been a milkshake thrown over him as he visits Northumberland Street in Newcastle Upon Tyne during a whistle stop UK tour on May 20, 2019 in Newcastle Upon Tyne, England. His visit to Newcastle comes ahead of the 2019 European elections in the United Kingdom which will take place on May 23. The Brexit Party, a pro-Brexit Eurosceptic political party formed in 2019, is reported to be polling in front of Labour and the Conservatives for the European parliament elections. (Photo by Ian Forsyth/Getty Images)
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- This article first appeared on Yahoo

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