Controversial personality Katie Hopkins is planning a UK tour in 2023. She is visiting a number of locations in the Central region, including Stafford, Stamford and Skegness.
The show is part of her ‘Live, Love, Laugh’ tour, in which she “tells stories and anecdotes from throughout her TV and media career, setting the record straight on what was said (and not said) as she lays waste to her critics with the power of laughter”.
The publicity for the tour says that in her shows Hopkins “mercilessly” ridicules politicians, celebrities and the “insanity of the lefty world”, in a “show dripping with one-liners and acerbic put downs of the so-called great and good”.
Addressing her reputation for being ‘outspoken’ the publicity says “she’s not PC, but totally LOL”, adding that people expecting ‘hate speech’ will be disappointed because the show is about “loving, about living and, most of all, about laughing”.
Hopkins, who found fame on TV show The Apprentice in 2007, has been a columnist for several UK newspapers including The Sun and hosted her own TV show ‘If Katie Hopkins Ruled The World’ in 2015.
Her outspoken views on a wide range of issues have caused controversy and led to her being involved in several high-profile legal cases. In 2016, her former employers MailOnline were forced to pay damages to a Muslim family she accused of holding extremist views, and in 2017 she lost a libel case brought by food writer Jack Monroe following remarks she made on Twitter.
In 2017, Hopkins was sacked by LBC following remarks she made on Twitter about the Manchester Arena bombing
The tour faces opposition from locals. Petitions calling for the show to be cancelled have already been set up in Stafford and Stamford. The Stafford petition has 700 signatures, while the Stamford petition has attracted over 800.
Stafford petition creator Marnie Phillips said, “the people of Stafford have always come together through challenging times and have always supported those Katie Hopkins mocks”. Meanwhile the Stamford petition claims “Katie Hopkins has many times stood accused of displaying views that have been described by critics as Islamophobic, racist, classist, and misogynistic. Stamford does not want Katie Hopkins.”
Previous dates on the tour have also attracted controversy, the one arranged for the Corn Exchange in Bedford was cancelled 24 hours after being announced following a petition.
A spokesperson for Bedford Borough Council told The Daily Mirror the event had been cancelled because it ‘did not support the city’s diverse community’.
Responding to the petition Freedom Leisure said, “We understand that different shows appeal to different people and we’ll always listen to the full spectrum of opinions in our audience. More than 130,000 people live in Stafford borough and 100,000 pass through our doors each year, so taken in context, the amount of negative feedback to Katie’s show has been relatively low.”
The company went on to say that the show is a “comedy event” focussing on her charity work and recovery from a serious illness, and that as an “inclusive, tolerant and welcoming venue” the Gatehouse “would never allow hate speech in our theatre”.
Stafford petition creator Marnie Phillips counters this by saying, “She brings nothing to this town of any value and instead, by booking her, Freedom Leisure are telling our children that we give value to her opinions.”
The show at the Stafford Gatehouse is due to go ahead on the 31 May 2023. The Stamford event is scheduled for May 16.