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Blackadder Blasts Blunkett
Rowan Atkinson has responded furiously to Home Secretary David Blunkett's proposed legislation to handle religious and racial bigotry.

In a recent anti-terrorism white paper Blunkett had called for drastic and sweeping measures against all racial and religious oriented commentary aimed at quelling tension surrounding current global events.

The Blackadder and Mr Bean star slammed the proposals in a letter to the Times effectively saying that they were preposterous. "For telling a good and incisive religious joke, you should be praised. For telling a bad one, you should be ridiculed and reviled. The idea that you could be prosecuted for the telling of either is quite fantastic."

The comedian cited The Life of Brian as an example of how a film can be denounced as blasphemous when released but which, under the proposed law, would have landed the producers in jail. "It is the reaction of the audience that should decide the appropriateness of a joke, not the law of the land."

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