The golden rule of comedy is timing….
The Chaser‘s Craig Reucassel has apologised following an incident yesterday outside the Bali Memorial Gardens.
Reucassel approached Opposition Leader Tony Abbott following a press conference on the Bali bombing anniversary, with questions on free speech while he was walking with Clair Marsh, a nurse who helped in Bali.
Abbott then told him it was “not the time” before Ms Marsh said, ”If I am allowed to have my freedom of speech, would you please go away because you are upsetting me?”
Reucassel then retreated.
Today The Chaser released a statement:
In the course of filming for The Hamster Wheel, Craig Reucassel attended the press conference given by Opposition Leader Tony Abbott at the Bali Memorial Gardens yesterday.
Before the press conference, Craig spoke with the Opposition Leader’s media adviser. Craig told her that he would not interrupt the press conference on account of the gravity of its subject.
In the second half of the press conference, the Opposition Leader took questions about a range of issues such as the carbon tax and gay marriage. As agreed, Craig did not ask any questions.
Craig approached the Opposition Leader after the press conference had finished and after he departed the Bali Memorial Gardens and was walking back to Parliament House. Since Mr Abbott had readily taken questions on other issues, Craig asked the Opposition Leader a serious question about his recent statements on free speech. He did not make any jokes or perform any “stunts”. He did not mention Bali.
As soon as Clair Marsh expressed discomfort, Craig walked away.
The timing of Craig’s approach to Mr Abbott was intended to separate his interaction from the event at the Bali Memorial. No disrespect was intended to Bali victims or anyone present and Craig apologises for any offence or distress caused.