Richard Ayoade’s rocky relationship with brother-in-law Laurence Fox including race row

Travel Man star Richard Ayoade has an unusual connection to former GB News presenter Laurence Fox.

The IT Crowd star and comedian is married to Laurence’s sister, Lydia, making the pair brothers-in-law.

However, while Richard, 46, and Laurence, 45, are seemingly on good terms, that hasn’t always been the case.

During an interview with The Sunday Times, Laurence explained that he’d briefly fallen out with his brother-in-law following an appearance on Question Time in 2020.

His stint on political chat show saw Laurence accuse a woman of colour of racism after she called him a “white privileged male”.

Laurence had earlier called the discussion surrounding the Meghan Markle race row “boring” and claimed: “It’s not racism. We’re the most tolerant lovely country in Europe.”

Richard Ayoade with his wife Lydia Fox
Richard Ayoade with his wife Lydia Fox

His comments prompted a huge backlash on social media while the Race Equality Committee of the actors’ union Equity, denounced him as “a disgrace to our industry”. Laurence has claimed he has struggled to get work in film or TV since.

Laurence, who was previously married to Billie Piper, told the publication that he and Richard, who was “furious”, subsequently fell out.

Laurence went on to recall how, in the thick of the criticism, he “begged” Richard for help, but the comedian “was like what, [support you] on Twitter? It’s not real. It doesn’t exist, it’s mad. Stay away from it all. You know who I am and I know who you are”.

Richard, who is half-Nigerian, then told Laurence: “You have never encountered racism,” to which the actor responded: “Yeah, of course I have. I’ve encountered racism from black people towards me, when I was working in Kenya [as a safari driver] for seven months. It’s the way you’re spoken to — racism can be deferential.”

Laurence later stated in the interview that he’s “not denying privilege and I’m not denying racism”.

Laurence Fox is Richard's brother-in-law
Laurence Fox is Richard’s brother-in-law

While Richard and Lydia typically invite the family round every Sunday for lunch but Laurence revealed: “There were a couple of weekends I didn’t go.”

He also confirmed that he and Richard are “all friends now”.

While Richard and Lydia have largely kept their relationship private, only giving a glimpse inside their romance during appearances on the red carpet, the pair married in 2007.

Together the couple share three children and live in London.

Laurence Fox's comments around race left Richard "furious"
Laurence Fox’s comments around race left Richard “furious”

The creative couple first started dating while at university as they both studied at the University of Cambridge, though were based at different colleges.

While Lydia studied at Newnham College, Richard attended St Catharine’s.

The two met during a university theatre performance where Lydia was in the audience and Richard was onstage.

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