RTE Liveline’s legendary Funny Friday comedy show has been scrapped indefinitely due to Covid-19.
Top comic Sil Fox yesterday revealed that he received the news this week in a letter from the national broadcaster.
“It’s no laughing matter, I’ll have to talk to Joe maybe he’ll get it back,” Fox told the Sunday World with his trademark sense of humour.
“Seriously though, I think it’s a shame that there now isn’t going to be a bit of fun and laughter on the radio at a time when the country never needed it more due to Covid.”
RTE had billed Funny Friday, which was broadcast on the last Friday of the month, as “a welcome antidote to the trials of modern living.”
Sil said: “I did it for 15 years and it always got a great reaction from the public. The numbers tuning in were massive, and it gave me a new lease of life.
“In the letter RTE said that after a lot of discussion they made a very difficult decision that they’re suspending Funny Friday indefinitely.
“They said that the way the country is at the moment they can’t hold Funny Friday ‘in a way that properly serves you the performers, and the listeners.’
“They added that ‘it was the mainstay of Irish radio for a very long time, and it’s deeply saddening to have to bring it to a close.’ Reading between the lines, I don’t think it will ever be back.”
Sil, who is a sprightly 87-year-old entertainer, had been the mainstay of Funny Friday with Brendan ‘Doc’ Savage. The show also had numerous guest comics and impersonators, including June Rodgers, Brush Shields, Frank Forde and Clint Velour (Paddy Cullivan).
Much-loved showbiz star Fox had to step down from his role on Funny Friday in May 2019 after being accused of a sexual assault while having a photo taken with a woman in a public venue the previous December.
He was finally cleared of the assault in May of this year.
Funny Friday had been suspended earlier this year due to the pandemic.
Sil says: “It broke my heart to have to step back from the show when I had that allegation made against me and I was looking forward to getting back on air again. But then Covid came along and everything changed.
“I do hope to get back on the comedy circuit when the world of entertainment opens up again. I live for comedy.
“When I go for a walk nowadays around my neighbourhood I’m telling people jokes all the time. I don’t know why I wear a mask because everyone knows it’s me behind it.”
And the funnyman added: “It’s only me and the wife at home now. We were having a glass of wine the other night and she said, ‘I love you.’ I said, ‘Is that you or the wine talking?’ She said, ‘I was talking to the wine!’”