Frankie Boyle wins £54k in libel damages over Daily Mirror's 'racist' slur

Comedian Frankie Boyle won more than £54,000 damages today after a High Court jury concluded that he had been libelled by the Daily Mirror.

Boyle, 40, from Glasgow, claimed that the Daily Mirror defamed him by describing him as "racist" and saying he had been "forced to quit" BBC panel show Mock The Week.

Daily Mirror publisher Mirror Group Newspapers (MGN) defended the article, published on July 19 2011.

MGN said the "racist" description was either true or "honest comment on a matter of public interest".

And the publisher said the words "forced to quit" did not mean that Mr Boyle had been sacked and were not defamatory.

But jurors ruled in favour of Mr Boyle today after a week-long trial in London.

They awarded him a total of £54,650 damages.

Boyle, who said during the trial that he would given any damages to charity, did not comment to reporters after the verdict.

Mr Boyle had denied "punctuating" material with racist references or making "gratuitous" use of black people, during a trial in London.

He told the High Court that characters he played might express racist views, but he did not.

Mr Boyle said he actively campaigned against racism and parodied racists – and claimed that the Daily Mirror had "misunderstood" the context of his use of language in jokes.

MGN lawyers said Mr Boyle was a "racist comedian" who gratuitously exploited negative stereotypes of black people for "cheap laughs".

A barrister representing MGN had told the jury that Mr Boyle was "callous" and "insensitive".

Ronald Thwaites QC said jurors should not find in the comedian's favour.

And he said if jurors thought that Mr Boyle had been libelled they should show their "contempt" by awarding damages of 45p – the price of a copy of the Daily Mirror.

Responding to the verdict on Twitter, Boyle told his 1,099,567 followers that he will be donating his damages to charity.

He tweeted:

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