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Craig David says Bo' Selecta was racist and ruined his life

Callum Jones

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| Last updated 

Craig David says Bo' Selecta was racist and ruined his life

Singer Craig David has slammed a former Channel 4 comedy show for being 'racist'.

Bo' Selecta ran on Channel 4 from 2002 to 2009 and was fronted by comedian Leigh Francis/Keith Lemon.

It was a real hit for the public broadcaster, featuring impressions of many famous celebrities, all voiced and portrayed by Francis.

Craig David was one of many sketches for the show as well as David Beckham, Mel B and the Osbournes.

However, the singer has hit out at the show in an interview with The Times, where he called Francis' comedy 'bullying'.

Craig David has hit out Bo’ Selecta and Leigh Francis. Credit: Russell Collins / Alamy Stock Photo
Craig David has hit out Bo’ Selecta and Leigh Francis. Credit: Russell Collins / Alamy Stock Photo

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."

In the interview, David said that he was immediately intrigued by the show at the start, but quickly became confused when he watched it with his mum.

Francis wore a head of David's likeness, and the singer was not happy with the way he was portrayed.

"It was bullying across the board for everyone. When he put blackface on, that was being racist."

Francis was asked about the black masks he wore on the show around the time of the Black Lives Matter protests and after the murder of George Floyd in the US, for which he apologised.

At the time, he said: "I didn’t realise how offensive it was."

He continued: "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."

Despite his apology, however, David doesn't believe it is genuine: "We can all apologise when on the back foot.

"The moment of expressing his apology seemed very coincidentally timed. Has he reached out to any of the people he did on his show? He hasn’t reached out to me. Has he gone to communities to talk about bullying? Racism? And to be educated? You can only ask him.

"All I’ve seen since his apology is people still tweeting him thinking Bo’ Selecta! is fun and the tone of his response being very much still, ‘I’m the funny guy here’. That he still plays it like a joke after his apology tells me everything."

Leigh Francis has faced heavy criticism from Craig David. Credit: SOPA Images Limited / Alamy Stock Photo
Leigh Francis has faced heavy criticism from Craig David. Credit: SOPA Images Limited / Alamy Stock Photo

David also told the paper how the show had affected him: "I used to lean into an idea that [Bo’ Selecta!] was all funny.

"I’d laugh it off, or run from it. When you’re younger, you think you can ride through this but it chips away until you’re in a really dark place.

"I knew things weren’t right. I was humiliated but had to appear all shiny and positive. I wasn’t ready to confront what that show had done to me."

LADbible has contacted Leigh Francis' reps for further comment.

Featured Image Credit: PA Images / Alamy / Channel 4

Topics: Celebrity, Keith Lemon

Callum Jones
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