Profile: Jimmy Carr
Published: 21st Jun 2012 15:03:36
Comedian Jimmy Carr has apologised for "a terrible error of judgement" over using a tax avoidance scheme based in Jersey.
The 39-year-old has now pulled out of the scheme, which, although it was legal, was branded "morally wrong" by Prime Minister David Cameron.
It is not the first time Carr - one of the UK's most successful comedians - has caused headline-making controversy, and it will probably not be the last.
The 8 out of 10 Cats host's previous forays onto the front pages have been as result of his edgy material, rather than his financial arrangements.
A joke about soldiers who had lost limbs in Iraq and Afghanistan ("we're going to have a good Paralympic team in 2012") also prompted condemnation from No 10 - and led to the Sunday Express headline: "TV comic's slur on amputee soldiers."
After that media storm, Carr made an apology, which also served as a mission statement for the taboo-breaking comedian.
"I'm sorry if anyone was offended, but that's the kind of comedy I do," he said in October 2009.
"If a silly joke draws attention to the plight of these servicemen, then so much the better. My intention was only to make people laugh."
Carr later said that, after telling the joke to 9,000 people on tour, only two had complained.
"There are a hundred jokes in the show that are worse than that," he noted.
The quick-fire comedian told the Guardian he had found the media reaction on that occasion "generally stressing".
But he is used to the attention. Jokes about gypsies, car crashes and Variety Club coaches have also made the press.
"I'm quite an edgy comic - I like dark things so it's lovely that I've found that many people who share my sense of humour," he told the Independent in 2008.
He researches that audience reaction extensively, reading one-liners from a clipboard at his preview shows, and rating the response from his fans.
The greatest of those gags are then taken on tour - and the comedian drives himself to all his gigs.
Carr grew up in Slough, Berkshire, before graduating with a political sciences degree from Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge.
He worked in marketing until he left his job at Shell in January 2000, the same month he performed his first paid comedy gig, aged 27, earning "£80 for 20 minutes in Plymouth".
Carr, who also trained as a psychotherapist, said he had become unhappy with his life and decided comedy would be "a joyful thing to do".
His first solo show, Bare-faced Ambition, performed at his debut Edinburgh Festival in 2002, earned him a Perrier award nomination and was followed by TV appearances - including a spot with Des O'Connor in 2003.
He became a regular on shows like Have I Got News For You, Never Mind the Buzzcocks and QI and wrote and presented Channel 4's series of "100 greatest" countdown shows.
Like many working comedians, he is fascinated by the psychology of joke-telling, and wrote a book on the many theories of comedy in 2007.
The Naked Jape, co-authored by his university friend Lucy Greeves, looked into why stand-up comedy is dominated by men, how jokes are constructed, and what constitutes offensive humour (context is more important than content, they noted).
Carr has put his research to use in annual tours, including 2006's Gag Reflex, 2008's Joke Technician and 2009's Rapier Wit.
As well as fronting 13 series of comedy quiz show 8 out of 10 Cats, Carr has most recently appeared on shows including Deal or No Deal, and at the Queen's Diamond Jubilee concert.
"The temptation to say something inappropriate is almost too much," he told the audience. "I could end up in the Tower by the end of the evening."
Carr - who supports charities including Comic Relief and the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation - counts fellow performers including Simon Pegg, Jonathan Ross and David Walliams as friends.
The Little Britain star once commented that Carr "dares you to dislike him".
In 2006, Carr told the Guardian: "When I meet people on the high street, they are surprised I'm friendly because they think I'm going to be very barbed. I'm not. I just happen to like that sort of joke."
When I meet people on the high street, they are surprised I'm friendly because they think I'm going to be very barbed”
Earlier this year, Carr lampooned people who avoid tax during the second series of Channel 4's satirical news programme 10 O'Clock Live.
A sketch from the show, in which he donned a dress and blonde wig to poke fun at Barclays' 1% tax rate, has now come back to haunt him.
A number of papers have referenced the sketch, which referred to "aggressive" and "amoral, blood-hungry tax lawyers" while some websites have carried a clip from the programme.
Fans at the next date of his current Gagging Order tour - in Stockport, Greater Manchester, on Friday night - will be interested to see whether Carr makes reference to his current situation.
According to some reports, he was heckled about his tax affairs at a show in Tunbridge Wells on Tuesday, replying: "The Murdochs are after me..."
But it may be harder to make light of the story following his mea culpa on Thursday morning.
At 15:55:43 in HeadlinesThe last communications between the South Korean ferry that sank on Wednesday and traffic services reveal panic and indecision by the crew.
At 15:48:44 in SportJamie Peacock (rested) and Ben Jones-Bishop (head) both return for Leeds Rhinos having missed the win at Bradford on Thursday.
At 15:41:06 in SportHull FC recall Ben Crooks, Jay Pitts and Aaron Heremaia following Thursday's dramatic derby defeat by Hull KR.
At 15:38:38 in EntertainmentIan McIntyre, a former controller of both BBC Radio 3 and BBC Radio 4, has died aged 82.
At 15:35:56 in SportFour races into this Formula 1 season, and Lewis Hamilton is effectively unbeaten. He might still narrowly trail Mercedes team-mate Nico Rosberg in the championship, but it is already looking as if only bad luck can stop him winning it.
At 15:35:52 in SportWidnes youngsters Grant Gore and Adam Lawton could make their first starts of the Super League season.
At 15:28:02 in SportWigan Warriors are without Ian Thornley (pectoral), Eddy Pettybourne (calf) and Ben Flower (ankle), who all suffered injuries in Good Friday's fine 33-14 win at St Helens.
At 15:25:57 in EnglandPeople trying to find an escaped 6ft-tall bird capable of running at 40mph say there has been a threat to kill it.
At 15:25:27 in SportManchester United striker Danny Welbeck is considering leaving the club.
At 15:07:21 in EnglandA sniffer dog has been brought in to find drugs in Shropshire and South Staffordshire hospitals.
Harvard CitationBBC News, 2012. Profile: Jimmy Carr [Online] (Updated 21st Jun 2012)
Available at: http://www.ukwirednews.com/news/1436111/Profile-Jimmy-Carr [Accessed 20th Apr 2014]
News In Other Categories
Police are investigating the circumstances surrounding the death of a 30-year-old woman in west Belfast.
Ministers are being urged to end restrictions that prevent many garden centres in England and Wales from opening on Easter Sunday.
Decisions on the pay and conditions of teachers will "inevitably" be devolved to Wales, said a teaching union.
With the doors to its brand new £1million training centre officially open, one of the UK's leading apprentice training providers, Bristol based S&B Automotive Academy, is showcasing its world-class facilities by launching a series of foreign student exchanges for the first time in its 41-year history. To get a flavour of what life is like as an apprentice in the UK, the Academy hosted 16 apprentice engineers and bus drivers from the G9 Automotive College in Hamburg, Germany, as part of a Europe-wide vocational training initiative called the ‘Leonardo Programme’ with support from the European Social Fund. In a reciprocal arrangement, S&B will be sending nine apprentices to Germany during February 2012 so that they can get an appreciation of life in the automotive industry on the Continent. A further three German exchange groups are being planned for next year. Designed to assist the development of vocational skills and training across Europe, including work placements for trainees, the Leonardo Programme has a budget of €1.75bn, which is helping to encourage UK organisations to work with their counterparts abroad. In what is expected to be another challenging year for employers in the UK automotive sector, S&B’s Chief Executive, Jon Winter, claims that the exchange initiative will bring many benefits to the Academy and its apprentices: “In a world of global automotive brands, it’s important for our learners to understand the international context of the industry they have chosen to make their career. This new exchange programme will enable apprentices and Academy staff alike to achieve a better understanding of the challenges and opportunities within the automotive arena in Europe. With the Academy’s influence also extending to the USA and Asia, there’s every possibility that this initiative could move further afield in the future.” Continued Winter: “The need for skilled technicians across the world is on the increase and we actively encourage our apprentices to look at broader horizons during their training. Many of them have already learned the phrase ‘Vorsprung durch Gelehrtheit’, quite simply, ‘Advancement through learning.” In the 2010/11 academic year, S&B doubled the number of successful Apprenticeships over the previous year with some 350 apprentices graduating from the Academy. At the same time, achievement levels reached an all-time high with an overall success rate of 85%. For those learners on the Advanced Apprenticeship three-year programme, success rates were even higher, at over 98%. PHOTO CAPTION: As part of their exchange visit, S&B Automotive Academy arranged for the German apprentices to visit Hampshire bus operator, Bluestar, at its Barton Park depot. The students are pictured with S&B’s Andy West (3rd right) and Steve Prewett, Bluestar’s Area Engineering Manager (2nd right). Ends http://www.sandbaa.com
Two men are in hospital after an accident at a garage in Aberdeenshire.
The demand for bigger buttocks in Venezuela means some women will even have banned injections to achieve them, putting their health at risk.