Page last updated at 19:33 GMT, Wednesday, 11 June 2008 20:33 UK

Man in court over comedy TV show

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Chris Cocker describes his fall and subsequent arrest

A man ended up being arrested and charged - after laughing too much at BBC TV's Have I Got News For You.

Chris Cocker, 36, from Blackburn, was chuckling so vigorously at a comment by comedy panellist Paul Merton that he fell off the sofa.

A concerned neighbour in the flat below heard the thud and called the police.

But when he refused to co-operate, Cocker was arrested. He admitted in court to resisting a police officer and was given a conditional discharge.

A charge of assaulting a police officer was withdrawn when Cocker appeared before magistrates in Blackburn, Lancashire.

Mr Cocker said: "I fell off the settee in hysterics and hit the floor and got myself up and started carrying on watching the telly and the next thing I know there was a knock on the door.

"The bit where I lost it the most was when I shut the door and the policeman had stuck his foot in the doorway and was refusing to let me shut my own front door."

After being sprayed with pepper spray, Mr Cocker was put into a police van and taken to a police station where he said he was stripped naked and spent a night in the cells.

A spokesman for Lancashire Police said officers used a pepper spray as "reasonable force" for their own protection after they feared for their safety when he became aggressive.

Have I Got News For You, currently in its 35th series, has been running on the BBC for almost 20 years and involves celebrity guests answering questions and cracking jokes about current affairs.


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