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Leigh Francis has filmed a reboot pilot for Bo' Selecta! despite controversy

Ali Condon

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Leigh Francis has filmed a reboot pilot for Bo' Selecta! despite controversy

Comedian Leigh Francis has confirmed that his controversial sketch show Bo' Selecta! could be getting a reboot - 13 years after it was taken off air.

The Channel 4 show saw Francis play a number of surreal characters like celebrity stalker Avid Merrion and vulgar interviewer The Bear.

Over the seven years it was on TV, the funnyman also did a series of celebrity impressions, including magician David Blaine, pop legend Michael Jackson, the Osbourne Family, former Spice Girl Mel B, and singer Craig David.

Leigh Francis portrayed David Baddiel in Bo' Selecta! Credit: Channel 4
Leigh Francis portrayed David Baddiel in Bo' Selecta! Credit: Channel 4
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In 2020, amid the Black Lives Matter movement, All 4 removed the entire Bo' Selecta! series from its platform, after celebrities like Craig David and Trisha Goddard called out Francis for his 'racist' impressions of them, and the show's use of Blackface.

"It felt like a vendetta and when it got a following, it became something that affected me," the musician said at the time.

"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."

Not long after, Francis took to Instagram to sincerely apologise for the insensitive impressions.

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"Back then I didn’t think anything about it, people didn’t say anything. I’m not going to blame it on other people," he said at the time.

But despite the controversy just two years prior, it sounds like there's a new Bo' Selecta! reboot in the works, which is now 'in the hands of the TV Gods'.

"Avid Merrion is wandering around somewhere," Francis told The Sun.

"He’s a bit different though, he’s grown up.

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Craig David has never been happy with his portrayal on the show. Credit: Gonzales Photo/Alamy
Craig David has never been happy with his portrayal on the show. Credit: Gonzales Photo/Alamy

"The Bear was in the pilot too. I don’t know if he’ll stick around, it’s all in the hands of the TV Gods."

The news of a reboot comes just weeks after David and Francis reignited their Bo' Selecta! feud.

The comedian claimed that the '7 Days' singer was still not over the upsetting sketch show.

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"Most people are happy with their portrayal on Bo’ Selecta!" Francis said back in November. “Apart from someone we know who wasn’t.

"The only way it’s ever going to go away from him, if he feels people are going on about it, is to stop talking about it."

He continued: “I wish he wasn’t upset . . . we hugged it out and everything was all nice, so I don’t know.”

Featured Image Credit: JEP Celebrity Photos / Alamy Stock Photo / Channel 4

Topics: TV and Film, Keith Lemon, Channel 4

Ali Condon
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