Ant and Dec apologise for impersonating people of colour on Saturday Night Takeaway

10 June 2020, 19:32

Ant and Dec have apologised for characters they played on Saturday Night Takeaway
Ant and Dec have apologised for characters they played on Saturday Night Takeaway. Picture: PA

By Asher McShane

Ant and Dec have apologised for “impersonating people of colour” on Saturday Night Takeaway.

The TV hosts posted an apology on Twitter which reads: “During past episodes of Saturday Night Takeaway we impersonated people of colour in the undercover segment of the show.

“We realise that this was wrong and want to say that we are sincerely sorry to everyone that was offended.

“We purposely stopped doing this several years ago and would not make these sketches today.

“We have already taken steps to ensure footage was taken down and have again recently confirmed with ITV that these segments, and any other historical content that could cause offence, does not appear on either the ITV hub or the Saturday Night Takeaway YouTube channel.”

Their apology comes as Channel 4 removed Bo’ Selecta episodes from its website after Leigh Francis apologised tearfully in an online video over the programme’s blackface characters.

In the video he said: "My name's Leigh Francis, I play a character called Keith Lemon on television.

"It's been a weird few days, I've sat and thought about things and what I could post to help things.

"Back in 2002 I did a show called Bo' Selecta, I portrayed many black people. Back then I didn't think anything about it, people didn't say anything, I'm not going to blame other people.

"Been talking to some people, I didn't realise how offensive it was back then.

"I just want to apologise, I just want to say sorry for any upset I caused whether I was Michael Jackson, Craig David, Trisha Goddard, all people I'm a big fan of. I guess we're all on a learning journey."