Page last updated at 19:00 GMT, Sunday, 7 December 2008

Carr sorry for Matthews remark

Alan Carr with his comedy award
The comic spoke to reporters after receiving his award

Comedian Alan Carr has apologised for dedicating an award to Karen Matthews, who kidnapped her daughter Shannon.

Government minister Shahid Malik, called him "sick and insensitive" after he made the remark to reporters at Saturday's British Comedy Awards.

Carr said Matthews, who is from Mr Malik's constituency, was "rough", a gay icon and would be his dream guest.

The comedian later said: "I realise what I said was insensitive and I am very sorry for any offence caused."

Junior justice minister Mr Malik said the timing of the remarks, which come just days after Matthews was convicted, could not have been worse.

'Sad case'

Mr Malik, MP for Matthews' constituency of Dewsbury, West Yorkshire, said on Sunday: "I think Alan Carr can be funny on occasion but I think last night he really let himself down.

"I think most people think it to be both sick and insensitive and people will be disgusted with him at a time when many people are looking very closely at the comic/comedian profession anyway.

"This isn't a helpful contribution either to the sad case of Shannon Matthews, where we've only just got a conviction, and Michael Donovan and Karen Matthews haven't even been sentenced yet."

People like a bit of rough don't they?
Alan Carr

Matthews and Donovan, from Batley Carr, were convicted last week of the kidnap of nine-year-old Shannon.

The child was drugged and imprisoned for 24 days in a plan to claim 50,000 in reward money.

At Saturday's awards, Carr was voted Best Comedy Entertainment Personality for his Friday Night Project and Sunday Night Project shows.

He said that he had originally planned his Celebrity Ding Dong sketch to feature rough women not fashionistas.

"It didn't work out because they couldn't cast it. I suppose it is a bit difficult to find rough women. I suppose Shannon Matthew's mum was busy," he said.

"Oh yeah, she would be my dream guest. I think she's a gay icon. People like a bit of rough don't they?"

Carr added: "I must be obsessed with her actually if you look at my Google searches. So I should dedicate this award to her."

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