Jonathan Ross defends Cheryl Cole and Simon Cowell Comedy Awards gags

Jonathan Ross

Comedian Jonathan Ross has defended his jokes aimed at The X Factor's Cheryl Cole and Simon Cowell used during last night's opening of the British Comedy Awards. The former BBC One chat show host made fun of rumours about Cowell's sexuality, whilst also making light of Cole's conviction for assault in 2003.

During his opening monologue at the live event last night, Ross joked: "You know who I felt sorry for? That Zimbabwean girl Gamu... What's going on with Cheryl Cole's complex relationship with the black community, eh? It's like she's playing the world's longest game of slap, marry, Deport!"

He added: "Also congratulations to Simon Cowell on a landmark birthday... 50 and not out! Or is that just a rumour?"

However asked if he was nervous of the jokes on the red carpet after the show, Ross commented: "Nah not really, both of them... well, certainly one of them has an element of truth in and that's Cheryl's past. And it wasn't negative about her it was an observation.

"And Simon's joke was just a joke and it was a well meaning joke, I know simon well enough to know he won't have a problem with it!"