Russell Howard says he 'did the right thing' by walking off stage in filming row

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Russell Howard on stage during the comedy night of the Teenage Cancer Trust annual concert series, at the Royal Albert Hall in London. Picture date: Tuesday March 20th, 2018. Photo credit should read: Matt Crossick/ EMPICS Entertainment.
Russell Howard (EMPICS Entertainment)

Russell Howard has defended his decision to walk off stage when he saw an audience member filming him, saying he “probably did the right thing” and that other artists would agree.

The comedian, 40, hit the headlines last month when it was reported that he left the stage in Bristol mid-set after spotting a woman apparently recording him on her phone.

At the time, BristolLive reported that Howard was just minutes into his set when he saw the woman pointing her phone at him. Telling her it was “literally the worst thing you can do”, he suggested she try to “live in the moment” instead.

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Howard initially attempted to continue but shortly afterwards walked off the stage complaining that the lady had “ruined” it.

He was performing at set on an outdoor terrace at Bambalan bar in his home city of Bristol when the incident happened.

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The comedian has now admitted that he was surprised at how big the story became. But he said he expected most performers and comedians would feel the same way that he did about the situation.

“I was amazed that it went as big as it did, because you know, there’s a lot going on in the world at the moment, but apparently a wonky-eyed comedian telling a lady to live in the moment trumped all of that,” he said.

“You won’t find any kind of artist, or performer, or comedian, or musician that would feel differently.

“Particularly if you’re doing a small gig, and somebody’s recording it, it’s not going to be good for you and it’s not going to be good for the performer.

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“It’s just pretty simple.”

“But I dunno, I was surprised at how crazy it went,” Howard went on. “But I think I probably did the right thing.”

Howard is known for television shows such as Russell Howard’s Good News and The Russell Howard Hour.

Additional reporting by PA.

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