Harry Deansway Sues Baby Cow Over ‘Live at the Moth Club’ Series

Harry Deansway Sues Baby Cow Over ‘Live at the Moth Club’ Series

Comedian Harry Deansway is suing Steve Coogan’s production company Baby Cow over a comedy series called “Live at the Moth Club,” which he claims rips off his YouTube show “Shambles.”

In his filing, Deansway, whose real name is Joshua Rinkoff, describes “Shambles” as a sitcom “centered around a live comedy night” at a run-down club struggling to make ends meet. The show blends fact and fiction by combining a sitcom set behind the scenes of the club with real comedy performances in front of a live audience.

“Shambles,” which featured appearances from well-known comedians including Aisling Bea and Dan Schreiber, was released on YouTube in 2013 as a six-part series, followed by a second season in 2015.

Deansway has accused Baby Cow of copying the series with a show called “Live at the Moth Club,” which aired on UKTV last December. According to the comedian, “Live at the Moth Club,” which stars Jamie Demetriou, Natasha Demetriou and Phil Wang, among other acts, bears a number of similarities to “Shambles,” including the setting, the format and characters such as a shambolic promoter.

His legal filing also lists a number of jokes he claims were ripped off, including one about the lights at the club not working and another in which an intern ends up writing material for one of the comedians.

Deansway in the filing says he is acquainted with Baby Cow’s head of development, Rupert Majendie, who is credited as the creator and executive producer on “Live at the Moth Club,” and once pitched him an “embryonic” version of “Shambles” when Majendie was working at the BBC.

A source close to Baby Cow told Variety that while the parties’ lawyers are in communication, the production company regards the similarities between the two shows as “quite light,” comparing them to the closeness of soaps such as “Coronation Street” and “Eastenders.”

Baby Cow was founded by Steve Coogan and Henry Normal in 1999. Coogan stayed on as a shareholder after BBC Studios took a majority stake in the company in 2016.

A spokesperson for the production company told Variety: “We strongly refute this claim, which has no legal merit.”

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