Little Britain star Matt Lucas quits Twitter over dead lover taunts
Matt Lucas has quit Twitter after taunts about the death of his former partner were posted by a young fan.
The 37-year-old comedian told his 565,000 followers on the micro-blogging site on Saturday that he was signing off for good.
He said: ‘I appreciate all the support on here over the past couple of years but it’s time to shut down my Twitter account.’
Together: Lucas and McGee at their civil partnership ceremony in 2006 – the Little Britain comic was disgusted about comments about his former lover
His decision came after a 16-year-old tweeted a joke about the death of his former partner, Kevin McGee, who was discovered hanged at his flat in 2009.
The couple, who held a civil partnership ceremony in 2006, had separated in 2008. They had been together for six years.
Lucas, best known for his role in Little Britain, had initially responded to the comments by writing ‘shame on you’.
He then added: ‘I’m not joking. I think you should delete that tweet. It really upset me.’
The 16-year-old uses the name of ‘oOfuscoOo’ on Twitter and is thought to live in Northern Ireland.
Yesterday it was reported that his account had vanished following the reaction to his behaviour.
Mr Lucas wrote: ‘I’m disappointed that oOfuscoOo thinks jokes about the suicide of my former partner are funny.’
Goodbye: Matt Lucas has shut his Twitter account down after terrible comments about his dead lover
He is the latest star to quit or to threaten to quit Twitter as a result of comments about them.
Stephen Fry once announced he was leaving the service after being accused of being ‘boring’ in an online row but later changed his mind.
In May last year golfer Lee Westwood said he was giving ‘serious thought’ to closing his Twitter account. He tweeted: ‘It’s social media, not social slagging. It’s losing its meaning.’
Lucas’s fans reacted angrily to the taunts, accusing the young writer of being ‘cruel and heartless’. Others said the ‘sick jokes’ were a form of ‘cyber-bullying’.
Some users of Twitter, including former This Morning host Richard Madeley, have encouraged the comedian to reconsider his decision and a group has been set up called #TwitterlovesyouMattLucas.
Madeley wrote: ‘If you get abusive tweets, you know the sender is inadequate, sexually incompetent and has a jealousy complex. Tweet them that and then block ’em.’
The teenager had apparently offered an apology to Lucas, tweeting: ‘I never actually sent this to you. I only put it up as a joke for my friends to see. Sorry, Matt.’