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Charity slams festival’s award-winning joke

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Stereotypical gags lead to stigma says charity

A Tourette's charity is demanding an apology from the comedian who won the Edinburgh Festival’s funniest joke.

Oleg Falafel won the award with the gag: "I keep randomly shouting out Broccoli and Cauliflower - I think I might have florets."

But Tourettes Action said the joke was not funny and had received calls to its helpline with people complaining about the gag.

Dave, the TV channel, put Falafel’s joke to 2,000 members of the public, 41% of whom voted for it.

Kate Stone, one of the judges on the shortlisting panel, said: "It's a good one, it's a pun, everyone kind of recognises it as... it's intended to be a joke and I think that's one of the things that matters the most for this."

Suzanne Dobson said her charity is about to launch a campaign to stop using Tourette's as a punchline.

The charity is now calling on Dave and Falafel to apologise.

"I would ask them to walk in the shoes of somebody with Tourette's for a day, and then come back and tell me if they find it quite so amusing," Dobson said.

Jess Thom, a comedian who has Tourette's, said: "It's just exhausting. I woke up this morning and I looked at that, and it just made me feel sad and tired," she said.

"I work hard to try and make good comedy, and to make it accessible to a broad range of people... and it feels frustrating when non-accessible, stereotyped work is rewarded," she said.