Miracle surgery saves tiny fish from cashing in her chips | Offbeat News

A tiny fish, just an inch long and weighing less than a gram, has made a full recovery after radical surgery to remove a growth from its stomach.

So small is the poecilia sphenops, known as Molly, that any point of the 40 minute procedure, from being anaesthetised to the operation itself, could have proved fatal.

Molly swam in a water-soluble anaesthetic to knock her out Pic: Highcroft Veterinary Group / Facebook
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Molly swam in a water-soluble anaesthetic to knock her out Pic: Highcroft Veterinary Group / Facebook

Sonya Miles, an advanced practitioner in zoological medicine, and nurse Laura Warren at Highcroft Vets in Bristol carried out the surgery, which cost Molly’s owners £100.

Ms Miles explained that fish must be anaesthetised in a different way to mammals, letting a solution flow over their gills before performing surgery.

An anaesthetic solution flowed over Molly's gills during the operation Pic: Highcroft Veterinary Group / Facebook
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An anaesthetic solution flowed over Molly’s gills during the operation Pic: Highcroft Veterinary Group / Facebook

She told the PA news agency: “We use a water-soluble anaesthetic, so we allow them to swim around in it until they fall asleep. We know they’re asleep when they lose their righting reflex, so they’re floating essentially.

“We catheterise their mouth and gently make different concentrations of an anaesthetic solution flow over their gills.

“With one that was less than a gram, it was pretty tricky.”

She added that Molly was the smallest animal she had ever operated on.

The whole operation took around 40 minutes Pic: Highcroft Veterinary Group / Facebook
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The whole operation took around 40 minutes Pic: Highcroft Veterinary Group / Facebook

The the incision could not be closed by stitches as for a mammal – instead an adrenaline swab was used to constrict blood vessels, then a waterproof paste painted on to heal the flesh beneath the scales.

In a Facebook post detailing Molly’s operation, the clinic said: “We are pleased to say the fish made a full recovery and returned home the same day. The little one is now back to normal and eating well.”

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Camp meets politics: Queens on the pink carpet of Drag Race UK premiere | Ents & Arts News

The stars of RuPaul’s Drag Race UK are on a mission: to bring “camp” and LGBT+ visibility to Britain.

Speaking to Sky News at the pink carpet event in London, the 10 contestants taking part in the competition to find the UK’s best drag queen said audiences could expect “a showcase of queer stories” and a “campy and funny” programme.

The show pits drag performers from across the UK against each other to test their dancing lip-syncing, sewing and acting skills to find the most talented queen in the country.

Although the stars of the show out of drag are either men or non-binary people, in character they all use female pronouns.

As well as becoming an Emmy-winning hit over its 10 years on air in America, RuPaul’s Drag Race has sparked conversations around LGBT+ matters. The show has discussed issues such as living with HIV, the Orlando gay nightclub mass shooting, and gay marriage.

Its political themes are something which the show’s cast said will continue in the UK version.

Blu Hydrangea hopes the show will open up the conversation about LGBT+ rights in Northern Ireland
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Blu Hydrangea hopes the show will open up the conversation about LGBT+ rights in Northern Ireland

Blu Hydrangea, 23, is a queen from Northern Ireland. She told Sky News: “Northern Ireland is the only place in the UK that doesn’t have equal marriage and I feel like that should be shouted from the rooftops… so even being able to open up that conversation would be amazing.

“Me being able to express myself in a country where we are oppressed will really help young kids from Belfast that look at me and say: ‘That guy is being his authentic self in drag on nationwide TV’.”

Sum Ting Wong, 30, who is an Asian queen, said she chose her drag name partly from a joke she saw online, but also to reclaim it from racially derogatory connotations.

“I feel like it’s really a kind of reclamation…I want other Vietnamese, Oriental, Chinese kids to be, like, ‘I can be just like her – overweight and on telly’,” she joked, adding more seriously: “It’s the best way to tackle racism.”

Sum Ting Wong is also originally from Birmingham, where some parents have protested against same-sex relationship lessons for children in schools.

“It’s about starting the conversation and having a dialogue,” she said, adding that she hopes the show will spark viewers to have those discussions.

Sum Ting Wong says the show will help tackle racism
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Sum Ting Wong says the show will help tackle racism

Some of her fellow contestants had stronger feelings about the issue, including 34-year-old east London circus performer Crystal.

“The idea that someone could be debating whether or not I exist is offensive to me,” she said.

“The show is really important because it’s showcasing queer stories… even though we’re dressing up like silly, silly things, if you’re paying attention there’s a lot of parts to it.”

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Labour MP Wes Streeting, who is gay and a self-professed Drag Race superfan, was also on the pink carpet, preparing to watch the first episode’s premiere.

He told Sky News: “Drag Race has promoted a powerful message about acceptance, inclusion, being proud about who we are and what we stand for.

“And I think given some of the debates we’ve had in the UK recently, with protesters outside of schools, let’s promote a message of inclusion and LGBT-inclusive education.”

Jamie-Lee O'Donnell (L) and Nicola Coughlan from Derry Girls back the show
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Jamie-Lee O’Donnell (L) and Nicola Coughlan from Derry Girls back the show

Other big names on the carpet included Jamie-Lee O’Donnell and Nicola Coughlan from comedy show Derry Girls, which is due to return for a third series next year, and TV presenter Scarlett Moffatt, who will be hosting a podcast about the show.

Speaking to Sky News, Coughlan said: “This show, it’s always got that political edge to it.

“It’s really like an eff-you to all the bigots. It’s showing that you should be celebrating, you should be fabulous. It’s sending out the most positive message. If you can’t get on board with that then get in the bin.”

Moffatt told Sky News: “I feel like I am a bit different… I just wish it was around when I was a kid because it just embraces everybody and makes everybody feel like it’s okay to be different.”

Scaredy Kat said being on the show had 'scary but really good'
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Scaredy Kat said being on the show had ‘scary but really good’

One contestant who speaks openly about not fitting in is Scaredy Kat.

Aged only 19 during filming, growing up in rural Wiltshire, and being one of the show’s only openly bisexual queens, she told Sky News: “It’s been scary but really good… there’s no drag scene in Wiltshire. It’s like a joke to even say that there is one.”

The show will feature a range of performers, from queens like Scaredy Kat who focus on the artistic elements of drag, to more comedic queens, such as The Vivienne, 27, who is known for her celebrity impressions, and 35-year-old Vinegar Strokes, who starred in hit West End musical Everybody’s Talking About Jamie.

Divina De Campo insists the UK is ready for the show
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Divina De Campo insists the UK is ready for the show

One of the queens, Gothy Kendoll, described the series as a “campy and funny” show, while Baga Chipz said: “You’re going to see acceptance and people that have never seen a drag queen in everyday life are going to watch it and think ‘they are just normal down-to-earth people, showing their talents’.”

Contestant Cheryl Hole teased a potential lighthearted showdown with her namesake Cheryl, who is a guest judge in the series.

Speaking about the singer, formerly known as Cheryl Cole, the drag queen said: “Everybody wants to know if I met Cheryl. The Cheryl versus Cheryl show. But you’ll just have to watch.”

Meanwhile, asked if the UK was ready for a show like Drag Race, contestant Divina de Campo said: “The UK’s been ready for Drag Race for 25 years.”

RuPaul’s Drag Race airs weekly on BBC Three’s iPlayer channel from 3 October.

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Unhappy Meal? Rutland resists McDonald’s plans to open a new drive-thru | UK News

There are two things that Rutland residents are especially proud of: being England’s smallest county, and being the only county that doesn’t have a McDonald’s.

But after spending years resisting the rise of fast food restaurants, all of that might be about to change.

McDonald’s has recently submitted a planning application to open a drive-thru on the outskirts of Oakham, Rutland’s main town.

Some residents are excited at the prospect of having Big Macs and McNuggets at their fingertips – not to mention the jobs that a new business would create.

But others have formally raised objections to McDonald’s plans – fearful that the drive-thru could cause increasing levels of traffic, litter and anti-social behaviour.

Rutland County Council has said it is still considering the application, and does not know when it will be able to make a decision on the proposals.

So… how fast can the people of Rutland get their fast food fix at the moment? We’ve taken a look:

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Second arrest over theft of £5m gold toilet from Blenheim Palace | UK News

A second man has been arrested in connection with the theft of an 18-carat gold toilet from Blenheim Palace.

The artwork, which is fully functioning and called America, was taken in the early hours of Saturday, Thames Valley Police said.

Officers are still looking for the stolen loo.

It was installed opposite the room in which Sir Winston Churchill was born at the 18th-century Oxfordshire estate.

Its removal caused significant flood damage because it had been plumbed in for visitors to use.

Made by Italian conceptual artist Maurizio Cattelan, it is worth about £4.8m, Blenheim Palace chief executive Dominic Hare said.

A giant walkway of flags created by artist Maurizio Cattelan is part of the exhibition at Blenheim Palace
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A giant walkway of flags created by artist Maurizio Cattelan is part of the exhibition

Police said a 36-year-old man from Cheltenham had been arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to burgle, and released under investigation.

Another man, 66, was arrested on suspicion of burglary and released on police bail until 9 October.

The artist praised the thieves as “great performers” and appeared to make light of the situation.

“When this morning I was informed about the robbery I thought it was a prank and it took me a while, after a few checks, to come to the conclusion that it was true and it wasn’t a surreal movie where instead of the jewels of the crown, the thieves went away with a b***** toilet,” Mr Cattelan said in a statement.

“I always liked heist movies and finally I’m in one of them.”

The artist joked: “Dear thieves, please, if you are reading this, let me know how much you like the piece and how it feels to pee on gold.”

The toilet was installed at the palace as part of Mr Cattelan’s first solo exhibition for 20 years.

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Quadrophenia at 40: Stars reminisce about the film for ‘every generation’ | Ents & Arts News

Released in 1979 and loosely based on The Who’s album of the same name, Quadrophenia’s coming-of-age tale of a young mod is very much a cult classic.

Forty years on, a new documentary for Sky Arts, Quadrophenia – Our Generation, explores the style of filmmaking and the movie’s themes.

But for the cast, who reunited at a screening for the documentary, the film’s wider impact could never have been predicted.

Quadrophenia 1979
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The film is loosely based on The Who’s Quadrophenia album

“I’ve run out of emotions really on that period of time,” Phil Daniels, who played main character Jimmy Cooper, tells Sky News.

“I can’t remember much about doing the film to be honest, which is a bit strange.

“Other people remember – I just remember it being kind of hard work, really, and us just getting on with it.”

Toyah Wilcox, who played Monkey in the film, says it was emotional to look back at when it was being made.

“You’re just thinking, ‘my God, it was so special’,” she says.

“It was such an opportunity and a privilege because we were treated as serious actors at a time when we could have been treated very differently.

“So watching the documentary, I just thought, ‘wow, I’m just so pleased that was in my life’.”

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Director Franc Roddam says filmmaking has changed a lot since Quadrophenia was in production.

“With films now everything is, you know – a storyboard and a green screen and blue screen.

“We would go out, we said that’s the location, these are the actors, this is the weather, we’ve got this much time – what shall we do boys?

“And we would play with it. It was much more playful, I think.”

Leslie Ash, who played Jimmy’s love interest Steph, agrees it was a unique experience.

“It was the first thing I’d ever done, really, so working with Frank, it was a completely new way.

“We had a script but we didn’t really use it… we basically improvised a lot.

“So after the film, my first job afterwards, I turned up on the set and I expected the director to be like Frank and it really wasn’t – I didn’t know my lines, I didn’t have a script, I was totally unprepared.”

Phil Daniels in Quadrophenia documentary for Sky Arts
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Phil Daniels features in the Quadrophenia – Our Generation documentary for Sky Arts

Phil Davis, who played Chalky, puts the film’s longevity down to its relatability.

“There’s something magical about this story that speaks to adolescent boys and I think it’s because of the struggles of Jimmy, the main character Phil Daniels plays,” Davis says.

“Because he isn’t the coolest kid on the block, he’s not someone you aspire to be. He falls in love with a girl who can’t love him back and he’s struggling with identity issues.

“He doesn’t want to be like his mum and dad – he’s like every adolescent boy and I think because of that it speaks to every generation and not just the generation around when it was first made.”

Trevor Laird, who played Ferdy, believes if it weren’t for the band behind the rock opera the film was based on, it wouldn’t have had the success it did.

“I think what made it so special at the time was The Who themselves.

“In 1978, when we made this film, The Who were massive – they still are – but at that time they were a massive band; rock and roll English music was the music.”

Quadrophenia reunion
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The cast reunited to celebrate the 40th anniversary

And despite the varied careers of the film’s stars since, it is Quadrophenia they say are remembered for.

“We’re not allowed to forget it by the general public,” says Mark Wingett, who played Dave.

“I did 21 years in The Bill, I made 787 episodes, I was Jim Carver in The Bill and [people say], ‘ah yeah, The Bill’s alright but Quadrophenia – that’s where it’s at’.

“I’ve had that for 40 years – this year’s been extraordinary because of the amount of work we’ve done around Quadrophenia because it is the 40th anniversary and I think we’re all a bit Quadrophenia-d out at the moment.”

But for Wilcox, the magic lives on.

“I’m not, I want us to make a Netflix series about the characters now, I want us to have eight series.

“I know Phil Daniels would hate that but I just think this is a story waiting to happen – I am not quite Quadrophenia-d out.”

Whether the cast are getting Quadrophenia fatigue or not, for fans of the film its 40th anniversary is cause for celebration – and maybe an excuse to watch it once again.

  • Quadrophenia – Our Generation will show on Sky Arts as part of its evening of celebrations of the film on 21 September at 9pm.

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Top Boy, Downton Abbey and Jesy Nelson | Ents & Arts News

Katie’s on holiday so it’s left to Stevie and Claire to discuss the new series of Top Boy, Sky’s doctor drama Temple and Jesy Nelson’s documentary.

Stevie also gives us his top picks from the Toronto International Film Festival so far, and Claire’s been chatting to the cast of Downton Abbey.

Plus, drama at the TV Choice Awards and we hear from a Love Islander.

:: Listen to Backstage on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, Spreaker

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Friends: Ross and Rachel’s baby Emma ‘would be in therapy in 2019’ | Ents & Arts News

After 10 years of friendship, romance, being on a break, a Vegas marriage and lots more on-again-off-again romance, Ross and Rachel finally got back together in the last ever episode to give Friends fans their happy ending.

She got off the plane, and the rest is… well, is left for us to imagine.

Fifteen years on from the final episode, where would Ross and Rachel be now? And what about baby Emma?

The cast of Friends, clockwise from top left: Matt LeBlanc (Joey), David Schwimmer (Ross), Jennifer Aniston (Rachel), Lisa Kudrow (Phoebe), Courteney Cox (Monica), Matthew Perry (Chandler)
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The hit US comedy turns 25 this year

With a mum like Rachel Green, one thing we can be sure of is that the teenage Emma probably has a pretty stylish wardrobe.

But what else?

In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Friends creators David Crane and Marta Kauffman spoke about what they think Ross and Rachel would be up to in 2019.

Proving it’s the question all Friends fans want to know the answer to, Kauffman revealed her rabbi once stopped her in a parking lot to demand to know what happened to the couple.

And those who are Team Ross and Rachel have nothing to worry about, it seems.

“I think they would still be together,” Kauffman said. “And as David Crane said, Emma would be in therapy.”

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Earlier this year, Jennifer Aniston gave her own thoughts on 2019 Ross and Rachel in an interview with NBC News.

“Yes. Absolutely,” she said, when asked if they were still together. “Emma’s grown up, she’s in college? High school? Let’s say junior high.”

See. They were each other’s lobsters after all. And if a Friends film ever gets made, we might get to see how Emma’s therapy worked out.

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Ja Rule: Rapper behind disastrous Fyre Festival ‘re-releasing all his music as visual albums’ | Ents & Arts News

Rapper Ja Rule – who co-founded the disastrous Fyre Festival – has announced he is re-releasing all his music as “visual albums”.

The US hip-hop star, who has brought out seven solo albums over the last 20 years, revealed on social media his ambitious plan to record new videos for “every song” he has ever made.

It is the latest venture for the musician who was fiercely criticised his role in Fyre Festival, which had to be cancelled in April 2017 when hundreds of ticket-holders arrived in the Bahamas to find awful conditions at the event.

The festival promised to be a 'luxury' alternative to Coachella
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Fyre Festival was branded a ‘post-apocalyptic nightmare’

In a Twitter post, Ja Rule wrote: “I will be re-releasing ALL of my albums as visual albums… I will be making a video for every song I’ve ever made… what songs do y’all wanna see videos for???”

The 43-year-old rapper – whose hits include Livin’ It Up and Always On Time – later clarified he would be shooting “over 40” videos, but they would not include tracks that already have videos.

One Twitter user asked Ja Rule why he was asking fans to choose which songs they wanted to see new videos made for, when he was supposedly recording “visual albums” for all his previous records.

He replied: “I wanna see which records are favoured.”

BEVERLY HILLS, CA - JULY 29:  Ja Rule speaks onstage during the 'Follow The Rules' panel at the Viacom TCA Presentation at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on July 29, 2015 in Beverly Hills, California.  (Photo by Jason Kempin/Getty Images for Viacom)
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Ja Rule says he will re-release all his records as ‘visual albums’

It comes several months after a Netflix documentary detailed what happened behind the scenes of the infamous Fyre Festival, which Ja Rule and his business partners were forced to abort after it was dubbed “a post-apocalyptic nightmare”.

A promotional film for the festival – which was advertised as a luxury party on a deserted island – featured bikini-clad supermodels including Bella Hadid, Kendal Jenner and Emily Ratajkowski, with tickets reportedly costing up to $100,000 (£75,000).

Emily Ratajkowski, Bella Hadid and Jasmine Tookes joined the promotional campaign
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Supermodels including Emily Ratajkowski and Bella Hadid featured in the promotional campaign…
People left stranded on the island, waiting for an overnight flight
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…. but guests at Fyre Festival found a lack of proper food and shelter

But when guests turned up, they found they were to sleep on rain-soaked mattresses in hurricane disaster tents on what had been a building site on a different island than originally advertised.

A lawsuit filed against the organisers said guests had been promised a “posh, island-based music festival featuring first class culinary experiences” but were instead lured into “what various media outlets have since labelled a complete disaster, mass chaos and a post-apocalyptic nightmare”.

The event’s co-founder Billy McFarland was jailed for six years for fraud for his role, but Ja Rule was never arrested or charged.

Billy McFarland was jailed over the festival
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Co-founder Billy McFarland was jailed over the festival

The rapper denied he was involved in defrauding party-goers and locals on the island and claimed he lost money through his involvement in organising and promoting the festival.

Ja Rule is due to release an album called Twelve, which will feature new music, in December.

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Downton Abbey stately home to be listed on Airbnb for one night only | UK News

Fans of Downton Abbey are being given the chance to stay at the stately home where the TV series is set.

Two guests will be allowed to stay at Highclere Castle for one night on 26 November if they can show they are passionate about Downton Abbey.

They will stay in one of the main bedrooms with an en-suite bathroom and views over 1,000 acres of parkland.

The library at Highclere Castle in Hampshire, the home of Downton Abbey, which is being made available for a one-off stay through accommodation booking website Airbnb
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The library at Highclere Castle, where guests will be offered coffee

The home’s current occupants, the Earl and Countess of Carnavon, will be treating the guests to an evening of cocktails in the saloon followed by a traditional dinner in the state dining room waited on by a butler.

Coffee will be served in the library after dinner before the guests retire for the night.

The next morning, they will be given breakfast and a private tour of the estate.

Fans can apply to stay at the home through Airbnb, where they will have to include a message illustrating their passion for the TV series.

Bookings will open at noon on 1 October but applicants must be signed up to Airbnb in advance and have good ratings from previous bookings.

The Earl and Countess will choose the most creative applicant to stay with them.

The winners will pay £150 inclusive for their reservation.

The grounds of Highclere Castle are 1,000 acres
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The grounds of Highclere Castle are 1,000 acres

Lady Carnarvon said: “It’s an absolute privilege and pleasure to call Highclere Castle my home and I am delighted to be able to share it on Airbnb for a truly unique stay.

“Highclere Castle has been in the Carnarvon family since 1679 and has an incredibly rich history.

“I am passionate about the stories and heritage of Highclere Castle, and I am looking forward to welcoming our future guests.”

The home was built as Highclere Place House in 1679 when it was bought by Sir Robert Sawyer, an ancestor of the current Earl.

It was converted into Highclere Castle in 1842 by Sir Charles Barry, who was also working on the Houses of Parliament at the time.

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Shane Gillis: Saturday Night Live sacks new comedian over ‘hurtful’ racial slurs | Ents & Arts News

A new Saturday Night Live comedian has been axed from the show before his first appearance after a video emerged of him making “offensive, hurtful and unacceptable” slurs about Chinese people.

Shane Gillis faced a backlash soon after it was announced he was joining the long-running US sketch show.

After footage of him making offensive comments was shared online, SNL creator and executive producer Lorne Michaels confirmed he has removed Gillis from the cast.

A spokesman for Michaels said: “After talking with Shane Gillis, we have decided that he will not be joining SNL.

“We want SNL to have a variety of voices and points of view within the show, and we hired Shane on the strength of his talent as a comedian and his impressive audition for SNL. We were not aware of his prior remarks that have surfaced over the past few days.

“The language he used is offensive, hurtful and unacceptable.

“We are sorry that we did not see these clips earlier, and that our vetting process was not up to our standard.”

More from Saturday Night Live

Gillis has posted a statement on Twitter saying it felt “ridiculous for comedians to be making serious public statements but here we are”.

He added: “I’m a comedian who was funny enough to get SNL. That can’t be taken away.

“Of course I wanted an opportunity to prove myself at SNL, but I understand it would be too much of a distraction. I respect the decision they made. I’m honestly grateful for the opportunity.

“I was always a mad TV guy anyway.”

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Gillis apologised after the footage emerged last week, saying on Twitter: “I’m happy to apologise to anyone who’s actually offended by anything I’ve said. My intention is never to hurt anyone but I am trying to be the best comedian I can be and that sometimes that requires risks.”

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