Gagging order! Chris Rock will have candid camera rules in place at Leeds show

Chris Rock.
Chris Rock.
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Superstar comedian Chris Rock’s newly-announced show at Leeds’s First Direct Arena could be no laughing matter for people who struggle to cope without regular glances at their mobile phones.

The use of mobiles, cameras and recording devices has been banned in the arena’s auditorium during January’s concert and fans have been warned they will be “immediately ejected” if they are caught breaking the rules.

People arriving at the venue will be asked to lock away their phones in special pouches that they will keep with them throughout the night.

Gig-goers who need to use their phones during the evening will have to head to designated unlocking stations on the arena concourse to access them.

The same set-up will be in place for the rest of Rock’s Total Blackout tour, which also includes dates in London, Manchester, Nottingham and Glasgow.

Yondr, the US firm that makes the automatically lockable pouches, says its system means fans give their full attention to live events rather than “documenting or broadcasting” them on their phones.

The firm’s service has also been used by artists such as Alicia Keys and Guns N’ Roses.

A number of stars have hit out in recent times at mobile phone use during their shows, with footage emerging last year of Adele on stage saying: “Could you stop filming me with that video camera? Because I’m really here in real life, you can enjoy it in real life rather than through your camera.”

Stone Roses singer Ian Brown, meanwhile, told fans at the band’s comeback concert in Warrington in 2012: “If you put your cameras down you might be able to live in the moment. You have a memory there of something you’ve never lived.”

Fundraisers gather at Leeds Minster in 2015 to raise money for Simon on the Streets. Picture: Anna Gowthorpe

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