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David Baddiel still hasn't had apology from Leigh Francis over racist Bo' Selecta! impersonation

Dominic Smithers

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David Baddiel still hasn't had apology from Leigh Francis over racist Bo' Selecta! impersonation

David Baddiel says he still hasn't had apology from Leigh Francis over his racist Bo' Selecta! impersonation.

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The controversial sketch show first aired back in 2002, and ran until 2009.

The basic premise of the show was that Francis would mock famous celebs, such as Craig David, Mel B, and David Blaine, wearing exaggerated and grotesque masks of their faces.

In the years that have passed since it was on our screens, Francis has been called out for his offensive and 'racist' jokes at the expense of real people.

One of those who fell foul of Francis' humour was David Baddiel, who is best known as a writer and comedian, who wrote the iconic football chant Three Lions, and himself once wore black face during a sketch about former footballer Jason Lee.

In Bo' Selecta!, Francis portrayed Baddiel as an Hasidic Jew, using anti-Semitic stereotypes such as orthodox side curls and his mask having a large nose.

Speaking in his new documentary, Jews Don't Count, the 58-year-old hit out at the selective outrage that people often seem to demonstrate with regards to racism.

Leigh Francis portrayed David Baddiel in Bo' Selecta! Credit: Channel 4
Leigh Francis portrayed David Baddiel in Bo' Selecta! Credit: Channel 4

He says: "I don’t think this is unfunny, or even in a comically exaggerated way inaccurate, but I do think, given that Francis is not Jewish, that it is racist.

"There have been no calls for him to apologise about it as he did in an internet post to various people of colour who he impersonated."

Baddiel told the press ahead of the film's release that Francis also refused to be part of it when asked, saying: "I think he was asked to be in the documentary, and he said no."

And while Francis has since come out and apologised for the hurt his jokes caused some people, Baddiel has revealed that he is yet to receive any kind of apology from the comedian.

"I have been in the same room as Leigh Francis, and it has been a bit weird," he admitted.

"I don’t like calling out other comedians, we’re comedians and it’s kind of weird to do that.

"I think in this case, it’s such a clear example of selective outrage because as far as I’m aware, no one has ever drawn any attention to that."

Baddiel has spoken about Bo' Selecta! ahead of his new documentary, Jews Don't Count. Credit: Channel 4
Baddiel has spoken about Bo' Selecta! ahead of his new documentary, Jews Don't Count. Credit: Channel 4

Earlier this year, Craig David came out and criticised Francis for 'normalising bullying'.

He said: "[Leigh] was highlighting characteristics he felt would trigger us personally. Every sketch felt personal.

"It felt like a vendetta and when it got a following, it became something that affected me. People would shout at me on the street and I felt the same feeling I had when I was bullied at school. Leigh Francis had normalised bullying by making it comedy."

Francis has previously stated publicly that he was sorry for his actions.

"I’ve been talking to some people, and I didn’t realise how offensive it was back then and I just want to apologise," the 49-year-old said at the time.

"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."

LADbible has contacted Leigh Francis' representatives for a comment.

Featured Image Credit: Doug Peters/Alamy/Channel 4

Topics: TV and Film, Documentaries

Dominic Smithers
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