Keith Lemon actor Leigh Francis apologises for portrayal of black celebrities on Bo' Selecta

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.

Craig David was portrayed by Francis in Bo' Selecta. Credit: PA

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.

Francis also apologised for his portrayal Trisha Goddard. Credit: PA

“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.”