Stephen Fry accused of inappropriate comments during cricket dinner

Stephen Fry accused of inappropriate comments during cricket dinner


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One person at a dinner at Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) has reportedly called for disciplinary action to be taken against club president Stephen Fry, 65, after he made comments that have been described as “egregious”.

The complaint was made by Chris Waterman, 75, who has been a member of MCC for 25 years.

He claims Stephen stood up to welcome those to the dinner, saying: “I had intended to say ‘Good evening, ladies and gentlemen’ but there are no lady members present. I suppose they are off sh**ging’.” 

Then, as reported by The Times, the actor referred to the Allahakbarries, an amateur cricket team founded by author JM Barrie which was active in the late 1800s. 

It is claimed that he went on to joke that “the term Allahu Akbar, when used today, was usually followed by a loud bang”.

The club and some others who were present at the dinner have since disputed the claims.

They say that the supposed misogynistic joke had been misheard and that the one about Allahu Akbar was never made.

Guy Lavender, chief executive and secretary of MCC, told the aforementioned publication that the claims are “factually incorrect”.

He said: “The dinner in question was enjoyed by those that attended and we have not received any other complaint from attendees in this regard.” 

However, on Saturday, Mr Lavender acknowledged that the complaint had been received, MailOnline reports.

Other diners claimed that what Mr Fry actually said was: “I had intended to say ‘Good evening, ladies and gentlemen but there are no lady members present. Now we can talk about sh**ging’.”

The attendees add that the Blackadder star was intending to mock the “under-representation of women” at the dinner.

They also said they had not heard the Muslim joke. 

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On Saturday, Mr Waterman told The Mail on Sunday: “The MCC is male, pale, frail and stale. I have been trying to reform it for eight years.”

His complaint, as reported by the publication, stated: “After the meal, the president called all the serving staff back into the room to thank them.

“I interrupted and asked him if he would apologise for his earlier comments about women, and he said, ‘No, I was referring to women members’ and continued speaking.” 

Mr Waterman says in his complaint of the alleged Allahu Akbar comment: “I am unsure whether there were any Muslims in the room, but even if there were not, this is not an acceptable joke in 2023.”

Stephen has been president of the club since March last year.

He has been a member since 2011 and was nominated to the post by former president Clare Connor. has contacted Stephen Fry’s representatives for comment. 

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