Coronavirus blunder as cops raid comedy club that posted old videos on Facebook

Bungling police raided a comedy club that was posting old routines on Facebook after fearing it was staging a lockdown-flouting show.

Owner Paul Blair, 33, was sitting at home enjoying the recordings of past performances when he got a call warning him his club was swarming with cops.

Twelve officers in vans ­surrounded it after someone who tuned into the online show – ­featuring comics in front of a 200- strong audience – mistakenly thought it was happening live.

Paul logged into CCTV cameras outside The Hot Water Comedy Club in Liverpool on Saturday to see the puzzled bobbies.

The club has been shut due to the outbreak but has continued showing the archived footage.

Shortly before police swooped it had shown clips from a show recorded on March 7.

Paul said: “We’d advertised it quite clearly. We record all of our shows, so we have a massive archive.

“We all need a laugh in these difficult times and even if we can’t be open we’ve got quality jokes that can cheer someone up.

“We’re trying to raise some money as well for our comedians because they’re all out of a job now that we are on lockdown. But about five minutes before the show ended we got a call from the shop next door telling us police had just surrounded the club. They must have been baffled.

“It’s fair play to the police as well as they’re only trying to keep people safe. But it’s biggest laugh we’ve had this year.”

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A concerned viewer failed to read that the show, headlined by comic Paul Smith, was pre-­recorded and rang the police.

CCTV cameras captured one of the officers whipping out his phone to watch the live stream while others looked confused.

Dad-of-one Paul said: “It’s just funny to watch the video.

“There are so many of them and you can see them pop up one by one and have a puzzled body language.

“Only thing missing from this bit is the Benny Hill theme song.”

A Merseyside Police spokesman said: “Our officers responded to a report from a member of the public concerned that a ­comedy club was open. To verify this they attended the club and found it closed.”

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