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Police responding to shut down comedy show find it was pre-recorded

March 30 (UPI) -- A British comedy club said about 20 police officers responded to the facility to shut-down a live show that actually took place more than two weeks earlier.

The owners of the Hot Water Comedy Club in Liverpool, England, said a Facebook Live show featuring comedian Paul Smith hosting a selection of clips from when the club was still open led a concerned viewer to contact police and report the club for violating bans on large gatherings amid the coronavirus pandemic.

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"I was really surprised. The first we heard about it was when we got a call from the convenience store next door, saying a full police squad had turned up at the club," Paul Blair, one of the club's owners, told Sky News.

"I looked at our CCTV and saw about 20 police officers outside," he said.

The club shared CCTV footage showing the confused officers gathered outside the empty club.

Police confirmed officers responded to a report from the public about a live comedy event taking place at the club Saturday night.

"Our officers responded to a report that a comedy club was open and live streaming a show with a large number of customers inside," a Merseyside Police representative said. "To verify this, they attended the club and found it closed. Checks were made around the building to make sure no-one was inside."

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Blair admitted the video showed comedians performing to a full audience, but the footage was actually filmed March 7. He said Smith attempted to make that clear multiple times during the broadcast.

"I think it was a waste of their time, but I don't think whoever called them did it deliberately, I think it was just a misunderstanding," Blair said.

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