It was always going to be a typically irrelevant performance, but even the most fervent fans of Frankie Boyle may have been caught off-guard by the veracity of his takedown of the right-wing media and its associates during a talk at the Guardian Edinburgh International Television Festival.

Jeremy ClarksonJeremy Clarkson was in the firing line

The Glaswegian comic went on the attack from the get-go, tackling the subject of Jeremy Clarkson and his apology for mumbling the N-word during a Top Gear recording.

"He comes from a very bad place and the reason he's tolerated is that he's recognised by people in power ... in fact he's a friend of [David] Cameron's. He's in there like a fucking growth and he should be removed because he's horrible. Sack him because he's a cultural tumour."

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Boyle also described Rupert Murdoch as "obviously a c*nt and fucking tumour." However, the comic defended writing a column for Murdoch's newspaper The Sun because it was "easier to get jokes into than the BBC" and he could talk about war and austerity.

Boyle - now one of the UK's most popular and recognised comedians - first gained fame on panel show Mock The Week, though even that programme was in the firing line. The comedian said producers would not let him joke about war, preferring jokes about sport.

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Boyle is rarely seen on television nowadays (Channel 4's heads of comedy, Phil Clarke, said there was no place for him), though the comedian said he would not act differently to get back on TV.

"You would have to, because there's no space for that any more and also I'm not 35 any more, so I don't feel like doing loads of jokes about rape."

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