This week, TV celebrity Alan Davies was in the spotlight for “insensitive” behaviour after he criticised Liverpool Football Club’s decision not to play on the 15 April anniversary of the Hillsborough disaster.
Following the rant on his weekly podcast, the Jonathan Creek actor was met with a flood of criticism online and even took the unusual step of re-tweeting death threats from angry Liverpool fans. Perhaps after a timely phone call from his PR, Davies apologised for his comments and reiterated his support for the Hillsborough Justice Campaign – offering a £1000 donation to the organisation.
However, the gesture failed to put an end to the matter, as the charity refused his donation with the following, strategic press statement: “The HJC has not accepted the £1,000 paid into its Paypal account by Alan Davies … While we accept his apology, we would prefer that he genuinely tried to understand why the decision never to play on the anniversary of the Hillsborough Disaster is so important”.
Davies then exacerbated the damage to his reputation when he tweeted a link to a costume retailer’s image of its
Press coverage reported that Davies declined to comment on this message – which although intended to show good humour in a tense situation, clearly fuelled Liverpudlian fans’ anger and indignation even further.
Even Alan’s PR might concede that this was publicity the star could have done without – particularly as the comedian is scheduled to appear at the Liverpool Empire Theatre in September, as part of his first UK stand-up tour for 12 years. This is, after all, the city with the lowest level of Sun readers, thanks to the paper’s coverage of the Hillsborough Disaster.