Television star Leigh Francis has apologised for his “offensive” portrayals of black people on his old sketch show Bo’ Selecta.
Francis starred in the Channel 4 show from 2002 to 2009, where he impersonated a number of black celebrities and figures, including Craig David, Mel B and Trisha Goddard.
Francis, best known for his portrayal as Keith Lemon, got emotional in a video he recorded apologising for any offence caused by his portrayal of black characters.
It comes after a number of Black Lives Matter protests which have taken place around the world following the death of George Floyd while in custody of the Minneapolis police force.
In a video posted on his Instagram page, he said: “It’s been a weird few days, it’s been a weird few days, and I’ve sat and thought about things and what I could post to try and help things.
“Back in 2002 I did a show called Bo’ Selecta and portrayed many black people. Back then, I didn’t think anything about it, people didn’t say anything. I’m not going to blame it on other people.”
“I’ve been talking to some people and I didn’t realise how offensive it was back then and 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 that I’m a big fan of. I guess we’re all on a learning journey.”
He captioned the video: “Following recent events, I’ve done a lot of talking and learning and I would like to put this out there. I want to apologise to anyone that was offended by Bo’ Selecta. I’m on a constant journey of knowledge and just wanted to say I’m deeply sorry. #blacklivesmatter.”