Keith Chegwin has been accused of stealing jokes for a new app he’s released.
The veteran TV presenter has been attacked by a number of comedians on Twitter, who have accused Chegwin of ripping off their gags for his app, Cheggers’ Fave Funny Jokes.
Katherine Ryan, Ed Byrne, Andi Osho, Paul Sinha, Tom Davis, Nish Kumar and Daniel Sloss are among the comics angry with Chegwin for compiling the free app’s jokes and claiming them as his copyright.
Chegwin, famed as the host of 80s TV shows Multi Coloured Swap Shop and Cheggers Plays Pop, is popular on Twitter for his deliberately corny jokes. However, comedians who have in the past accused the 59-year-old of stealing those gags have generally been instantly blocked on Twitter by the presenter.
WHY HAVE YOU UNBLOCKED ME @KEITHCHEGWIN. I HAVE NOTHING FOR YOU TO STEAL. NOTHING. LEAVE ME ALONE.
— TechnicallyRon (@TechnicallyRon) February 22, 2016
Ironically, Chegwin’s app was released once he began unblocking those same comedians – who have begun accusing him of unblocking them so that he can steal their jokes again. Twitter gag writer Technically Ron wrote: “Why have you unblocked me? I have nothing for you to steal, nothing. Leave me alone.” Mock The Week regular Gary Delaney said: “All the things 70s kids TV presenters got up to, and Keith Chegwin manages to make himself the pariah. Impressive.” And The Chase regular Sinha added: “Can you unblock me, mate? I’d like to read a daily compendium of my mates’ jokes.”
Chegwin has refused to comment on the furore.
But in 2010, when he was first accused of joke theft, he said: “I’ve always been honest about my gags. Most of the gags are my own, some I remember from the old days. If you don’t like it, unfollow me. Some of the jokes are so old, I’m not going to start crediting dead people.”
One stand-up, Justin Moorhouse, has gone as far as to include a legal link on Twitter for people to request that Apple delete Chegwin’s app.
Since his 80s heyday, Chegwin appeared nude on Channel 5’s Naked Jungle in 2000 and played himself in Ricky Gervais’ sitcom Extras. He mainly makes his living as an after-dinner speaker.
Loaded’s deputy editor John Earls has covered entertainment and sport across a range of national newspapers, plus several football and music magazines, since 1990. Follow him on Twitter at @EarlsJohn