24/11/2011 06:31 GMT | Updated 28/11/2011 07:31 GMT

Jimmy Carr Blasted Over Down's Syndrome Joke

"Jimmy Carr blasted over..." is not an especially new headline, we know. Whether it's car crash jokes or 9/11 gags, the comic doesn't often shy away from jokes that may cause offence. But has he now jumped the shark, and strayed into Ricky Gervais "mong" territory?

The Daily Mail and The Sun report that Jimmy has "sparked outrage" and gone "too far" with the following joke, which he told "to a 1,000-strong audience" at the Parr Hall theatre in Warrington this week:

"Why are they called the Sunshine Variety coaches when all the kids on them look the f***ing same?"

"There was some laughter but I think most people agreed that it was crass," one audience member told The Sun. "We all know he can be controversial but this joke overstepped the mark."

Variety Club spokesman Malcolm Brenner commented: "He is ridiculing children with Down's Syndrome - you can't get much lower than that."

Carr has apologised for the joke, saying: "It was the 238th gig of the tour and nobody has complained so far. I'm sorry to anyone who came and was offended."