Jack Whitehall has said that political correctness has a “purpose” in comedy as it exists to protect vulnerable people.

However, the 32-year-old stand-up admitted that he was more careful now about what he said on stage than he had been 10 years ago.

Appearing on The One Show, he said: “I am far more careful about what I say now because I don’t like to actively go out there to try and offend anyone.

“But I do worry that I probably said a joke 10 years ago that could come back and haunt me at some point.

“You have to park the fear and just get on with your life.

“I think political correctness is there for a reason in comedy as well, it’s to protect people that are maybe a bit more vulnerable and so I think it definitely has a purpose as well.”

His comments come after a number of prominent figures from the arts world, including JK Rowling, Sir Salman Rushdie and Margaret Atwood, signed a letter warning of an “intolerant climate” for free speech.

VOXI Launch – London
Whitehall’s girlfriend Roxy Horner (Lauren Hurley/PA)

Whitehall also spoke about allowing his girlfriend, model Roxy Horner, to cut his hair during lockdown, after the pair filmed the event for social media.

He said: “I actually have my first haircut booked in for tomorrow.

“I can’t wait to have an actual professional. She has been sidelined and will never be allowed near my head ever again.”

He added: “She did an adequate job in the circumstances.”

Whitehall was previously in a relationship with Crazy Rich Asians actress Gemma Chan, 37, before they split in 2017 after six years together.