The comedian behind Dapper Laughs, Daniel O’Reilly, has said his controversial “character” is “gone”, but that hasn't stopped speculation about whether this is truly the end of his controversial and short-lived television career.
The self-styled comedian and internet celebrity who had his show pulled this week by ITV2 after a massive sexism controversy told Newsnight last night that he has killed off the character.
Appearing in a sombre black polo neck, and looking almost unrecognisable, O'Reilly told the BBC programme's presenter Emily Maitlis he regretted the offence he had caused,
"It was a type of comedy I shouldn't have been doing," he said. "I'm not going to do what maybe other comedians would do and stand behind it and say, 'Do you know what, if you don't like it switch off'.
"I'm not going to say that. I don't agree with it. I don't want to be seen as that. It's a shame that it went so far."
But many viewers were quick to query the sincerity of O'Reilly's apology.
Dapper Laughs is definitely a character. Except, um... pic.twitter.com/mWfH9zn7yc— Chris Coltrane (@chris_coltrane) November 11, 2014
Dapper Laughs clearly regrets... that his career is on the rocks. #Newsnight— The Media Blog (@TheMediaTweets) November 11, 2014
I think Dapper Laughs' new character - "contrite artiste" - is every bit as plausible and amusing as his last. Got legs, Mark my words.— simon evans (@TheSimonEvans) November 12, 2014
Oh, I SEE. Dapper Laughs was satirising what "other" men "might" say to women. Right. Right. #newsnight— Claire Phipps (@Claire_Phipps) November 11, 2014
Not completely convinced by Dapper Laughs' defence, i.e. Dapper Laughs was a "character" created to satirise laddish attitudes #newsnight— Toby Young (@toadmeister) November 11, 2014
Glad Emily Maitlis is being tough, but dapper laughs pretending his 'character' was about pushing boundaries is a cop out. #newsnight— Bella (@bellamackie) November 11, 2014
don't think dapper laughs is fooling anyone with the 'it was all satire' excuse. #newsnight— Param Singh (@paramsingh0_0) November 12, 2014
Poor "Dapper Laughs" - the "media" have "ruined his career" by showing unadulterated footage of him making rape jokes #newsnight— Otto English (@Otto_English) November 11, 2014
Others were more supportive of the comedian:
Never watched Dapper Laughs, but I feel a bit bad for the guy now. Could've been different if his 'character' was separated from himself.— Andrew Hart (@andyhart) November 12, 2014
Feel so sorry for @dapperlaughs 🙈😔— day (@daynaScottXx) November 12, 2014
Can't believe over pragmatic idiots have made @dapperlaughs disappear, if you get upset by a joke then re-evaluate yourself not him— Ben (@iAmBenGriffin) November 12, 2014
love how all these girls have suddenly turned into feminists cause of this whole dapper laughs thing. It was a few jokes lighten up— sophie✨ (@sophiewillson_) November 12, 2014
But most of the attention seemed to be focused on his choice of clothing:
Dapper Laughs announces he's launching a Spandau Ballet tribute band.November 11, 2014
So uncomfortable watching Dapper Laughs grovelling for forgiveness in a serious interview with slicked back hair and a roll neck jumper— Megan (@meganchamberz) November 12, 2014
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The comedian admitted he had allowed himself to get "carried away" with his own success, original finding fame on social media. "From the beginning, it caught on really quick that it was really popular for a certain demographic. I didn't think so many people would end up seeing it, and I got a little bit carried away with it, to be honest.
"At the time when we were doing it, it was getting so much praise and growing and growing, it took over me a little bit. Obviously I don't think that, I'm taking the mick out of what I think men think," he insisted.
Maitlis asked if he can see why people might imitate his rape jokes and intimidation of women. "Potentially, of course," he replied. "But to me, I was creating this character, and I was really pushing the boundaries because it was popular. I thought people were thinking it was ridiculous."
Dapper said that the last few days had caused him immense difficulty. "It was great at the beginning, now it's completely ruined everything. Do you think looking at me know that I would go out and do that? I was creating a character.
"That makes me sad to think if someone would do that [threatened a woman with a knife to show her breasts], I would be responsible. It's wrecked my life to a certain extent."
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Dapper said that he did not resent ITV2 for cancelling the show. "I felt blessed for the first series," he said, insisting it had been his decision to cancel all his live shows. 'This morning I decided I don't want to carry on with Dapper Laughs. I look at it now, and the emotion that it has done, and the media have done in the last four days, I didn't realise that I was causing that much of a problem."
Maitlis pushed him on what was the future for the character. "Dapper Laughs is gone," he replied. "My family have spoken to me about it. I am not going to allow Dapper Laughs to represent me. I am going to stop it and stop it being promoted."