The mother of a girl with Down’s Syndrome said she burst into tears after a comedian joked about the condition during his set.
Barry Castagnola joked that he looked like ‘Daniel Craig with Down’s Syndrome’ while on stage supporting Inbetweeners star Greg Davies.
Susie Hamill, 51, was insulted and left ‘in tears’ after hearing the joke at Cardiff’s Motorpoint Arena on Saturday.
She was upset because she worried about what effect it would have on her daughter, Ffion, 21, who has the condition.
Mrs Hamill tweeted Castagnola saying: ‘Greg Davies was, as ever, amazing but support act @BarryCastagnola made a cheap joke about Down’s Syndrome! Offensive and ignorant!’
Castagnola said: ‘I’m so sorry to have caused offence. It’s not in any way supposed to be a joke ‘about’ Down’s Syndrome. I was quoting something said to me.’
On Sunday Susie added: ‘Do you still think it’s funny to relate to yourself as Daniel Craig with Down’s Syndrome?
‘Because today, I am still heartbroken and in tears, as I was last night at your crass ignorance.’
Castagnola again replied: ‘No. I was wrong. I’m mortified to have caused upset. That was never my intention and, as I said, I won’t repeat it. I’m very sorry.’
But she added: ‘Well, you ruined our night as the 5,000 people behind me laughed. Careless and cheap and I paid to hear you insult my daughter.’
Mrs Hamill, who lives with husband Timothy, 56, in Llanelli, West Wales, added: ‘It was appalling and unnecessary to have made such a glib comment about it.
‘He has made a cursory apology but as a parent who has spent years campaigning I am still very upset by it.
‘I have had to fight for 21 years for people to see her for who she is.
‘Living in Llanelli, fortunately people respect Ffion and she has achieved amazing things in her life like being on Ruth Jones’s Stella and achieving five GCSEs.
‘We’re very mindful that there is still a stigma out there and it felt like a real slap in the face to be sat there and listening to that.’
‘I want people to open their eyes and be more careful. It’s an absolute miracle Ffion was not sitting in the auditorium herself that evening.’
Castagnola said in a statement he was ‘devastated’ to have upset Mrs Hamill, but denied making a joke about the condition.
He said: ‘I’m devastated to have upset someone in the audience and have apologised to Mrs Hamill.
‘I did not refer to myself as ‘Daniel Craig with Down’s Syndrome’, I actually quoted something someone said to me. I certainly never intended for it to be a joke ‘about’ Down’s Syndrome.
‘However, I can now see how it could’ve been taken as such. I apologised as soon as Mrs Hamill raised it with me and, as I told her, won’t repeat it again.’