A CONSERVATIVE MSP has written to an Aberdeen theatre expressing “concerns” over comedian Janey Godley’s role in an upcoming pantomime production, citing “offensive” tweets that resurfaced from her account.

Godley, whose voice-overs of Nicola Sturgeon’s Covid updates went viral during the pandemic, is currently starring in coronavirus safety adverts on TV – prompting critics to unearth historic social media comments.

Last night Godley issued an apology over the posts, sent between 2009 and 2018, which she described as “horridly offensive”.

The comedian is set to appear in the upcoming Beauty and the Beast pantomime production at His Majesty’s Theatre, Aberdeen, in December.

The National:

Douglas Lumsden, Tory MSP for the North East region and former Aberdeen Council co-leader, took to social media to say he’d contacted theatre bosses with concerns over language used regarding disabled people and Chernobyl victims in the posts.

Writing to the chief executive of Aberdeen Performing Arts, Jane Spiers, Lumsden said it is “concerning that the lead performer in this year’s pantomime in Janey Godley, undoubtedly a well-known actor but one with a history of offensive and derogatory language on social media”.

The former councillor went on: “I have been contacted by many constituents who do not feel Ms Godley is an appropriate ‘star’ of a family pantomime and will be avoiding the show this year.

“Given these concerns, I would ask what checks Aberdeen Performing Arts made as to her suitability for hiring, and its position on her unacceptable references to the disabled.”

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Lumsden added he is “deeply concerned public money could be used to support someone who has made grossly offensive comments about those with disabilities”.

The letter was also shared with the chief executives of Aberdeen City Council and Creative Scotland.

Aberdeen Performing Arts has been contacted for comment.

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The letter sparked debate online, with writer Kieran Hurley saying while Godley’s tweets had been “unacceptable”, he was uncomfortable with Lumsden’s response.

“A Tory MSP writing to a cultural org to try to remove a performer under the pretence of comments made a decade ago is an extremely unhealthy development and we’d do well to note its ramifications,” the Beats author wrote.

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This morning Godley put out a new statement apologising for the resurfaced posts.

"These historic tweets that people have quite rightly found offensive, are deeply hurtful and shows my lack of empathy and zero self-awareness and come from a time of ignorance in my life, I am a firm believer in progress not perfection, I will continue to progress," she said.

"People have every right to see who they are supporting and what values they hold and looking through their past social media is the way forward. I apologise for every single offensive word I wrote.

"The offensive replies from me, were to accounts that threatened me and I lashed out with abhorrent heckles. Their accounts were suspended, I should have blocked and reported them and not argued back.

"Comedy is no excuse for shocking and hurting people with words.

"I will endeavour to be better in future.

"There are fake tweets that were created to threaten me, but notwithstanding, the ones I wrote, I take responsibility for.

"During the course of this pandemic, I have tried to keep everyone’s spirits up and at the same time highlight the dangers. I am passionate about this and will continue to help in any way I can."