Comedian Nish Kumar has spoken out following the news that the BBC has cancelled his show The Mash Report with a cutting dig at Prime Minister Boris Johnson.
Today, it was announced that satirical news series The Mash Report, which had been hosted by Nish since its launch in March 2017 and also starred comedian Rachel Parris, had been axed following the release of its fourth series last year.
In a statement released about the programme, which was inspired by satirical website The Daily Mash, a BBC spokesperson said: ‘We are very proud of The Mash Report but in order to make room for new comedy shows we sometimes have to make difficult decisions and it won’t be returning.
‘We would like to thank all those involved in four brilliant series and hope to work with Nish Kumar, Rachel Parris and the team in the future.’
The Mash Report has previously been described as showing a ‘left-wing’ political bias, with GB News chairman Andrew Neil tweeting in 2018 that in his view, it was ‘self satisfied, self adulatory, unchallenged left wing propaganda’.
Following the news of its cancellation, Nish, 35, shared a tweet that read: ‘A lot of people are asking me for a comment and here it is,’ alongside a picture of him on The Mash Report gesturing to a screen that reads: ‘Boris Johnson is a liar and a racist.’
Rachel, 36, tweeted a behind-the-scenes video of Nish joking around on the show’s set with special effects on a large screen, writing in her caption: ‘Behind the scenes it was just hard-hitting satire non-stop.’
Several people expressed their sadness over The Mash Report coming to an end, with broadcaster James O’Brien tweeting: ‘The Mash Report, a comedy program critical of the government has been axed by the state broadcaster, reportedly for political reasons, and at the behest of a director general appointed by the government.
‘Finally, a stone cold example of what ‘cancel culture’ looks like.’
Author and screenwriter Emma Kennedy added: ‘I hope @Channel4 snap The Mash Report up. Great show led by brilliant talents. What a loss to the BBC.’
In August 2020, the Telegraph reported that BBC director-general Tim Davie was believed to have set his sights on getting rid of left-wing comedy shows from the broadcaster.
However, the BBC boss later dismissed the claims, stating, according to Chortle: ‘Reading some of the commentary is ridiculous. Comedy has always been poking at authority.’
He added: ‘The BBC should not come from a platform from when there’s an assumed point of view. It’s not just about left and right, it’s different people.’