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Russell Howard Storms Off Stage After Clash With Audience Member At Gig

Russell Howard Storms Off Stage After Clash With Audience Member At Gig

Comedian Russell Howard stormed off stage after he spotted an audience member filming him during a gig this week.

According to Bristol Live, the star was in Bristol testing out some of his newest material when he spotted one individual with their camera out on Wednesday (12 August) night.

Russell, 40, was just five minutes into his set at Bambalan when the incident happened, and was reportedly so furious that he called her out for putting him off his performance.

The comedian reportedly stopped the gig to tell the woman: "That's literally the worst thing you can do."

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Russell was put off by the filming onlooker (Credit: BPM Media)
Russell was put off by the filming onlooker (Credit: BPM Media)

He is said to have gone on to tell the woman to 'live in the moment' and questioned her on how she'd feel if someone filmed her while she was working.

Explaining why it had upset him so much, he told her that comedians were a 'dying breed' and that it made it harder for him to try out difficult and even potentially controversial material if they know it's going to end up online.

He added that a recording could destroy months of hard work that he'd put into refining an act.

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Russell initially decided to carry on with his set, following the upset, but told the crowd that he would only use tried and tested material from an old standup routine.

However, it seemed he just couldn't shake the incident, and ended up picking up his stuff and leaving shortly afterwards.

Russell had been trying out some new material (Credit: PA)
Russell had been trying out some new material (Credit: PA)

"I was really looking forward to this gig," he's said to have told the crowd.

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The woman involved told the local paper that she hadn't filmed any of Russell's set, and was in fact just taking pictures, just as other attendees had done.

But another audience member wasn't so sure, and is said to have shouted out: "You were filming the whole f***ing thing."

Tickets for the small gig cost just £5 each, and it was billed as an opportunity to hear some of Russell's 'work in progress'.

Speaking after the event, the show's compère Mark Olver said he completely understood why it had upset Russell, but he was sad things had ended the way they did.

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He said: "It's important that when acts are trying out new material people should understand they don't want video of it out there.

"Sets at this kind of event are a work in progress. Most people understand this but I should have been clearer at the start of the gig in explaining it to people.

"He's gutted and didn't want to disappoint anyone but comedy is something you have to write in front of people and having a recording of that process out there in the world makes being creative really difficult."

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Russell's spokesman added: "Any comedian whose set is being recorded at a new material night would find it distracting.

"The beauty of live performance particularly at this strange time is its intended for the room only."

Featured Image Credit: PA

Topics: Celebrity News

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Joanna Freedman

Joanna is a journalist at Tyla with a particular interest in highlighting women's issues and telling inspiring first person stories. She's also their resident foodie, and loves covering exciting new beauty launches, too. Contact her at [email protected]