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Ant And Dec Apologise For Blackface On Saturday Night Takeaway

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Ant And Dec Apologise For Blackface On Saturday Night Takeaway

Ant and Dec have apologised for episodes of Saturday Night Takeaway where they portrayed black characters.

In they past, the presenters appeared in blackface on their weekly entertainment show, but they've now admitted that it was wrong.

They've also said that ITV won't feature any of the episodes in question on their streaming service or the show's YouTube channel.

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In a statement, they said: "During past episodes of Saturday Night Takeaway, we impersonated people of colour in the undercover segment of the show.

"We realise that this was wrong and want to say that we are sincerely sorry to everyone that was offended. We purposely stopped doing this several years ago and certainly would not make these sketches today."

The comedy duo added: "We had already taken steps to ensure footage was taken down, and have again recently confirmed with ITV that these segments, and any other historical content that could cause offence, does not appear on either the ITV hub or the Saturday Night Takeaway YouTube channel."

Ant and Dec portrayed two Jamaican women in 2003. Credit: ITV
Ant and Dec portrayed two Jamaican women in 2003. Credit: ITV
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Two of the characters that have been scrutinised are Patty and Bernice. Ant and Dec pranked Emmerdale cast members in 2003, in a sketch where they portrayed two Jamaican women.

In a clip that can be seen on a Saturday Night Takeaway DVD, the pair discuss how they got into character as Patty and Bernice.

Ant laughed: "It was funny sitting in a room, learning Jamaican, picking dresses, trying on false nails, was something I didn't think I'd ever, ever do."

Credit: PA
Credit: PA
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Dec then tried to put on a Jamaican accent and said: "We had to find who Patty and Bernice were, so we'd have to go, 'well, I think Bernice probably came to England on a boat'."

The move comes after various platforms have taken action against potentially offensive television amid the Black Lives Matter movement, in the wake of the death of George Floyd.

Little Britain was recently removed from BBC iPlayer and Netflix, with the nougties sketch comedy facing criticism for its use of blackface and its portrayal of ethnic minorities.

Leigh Francis, who plays character Keith Lemon, played a number of black celebrities on the Bo' Selecta!, which ran between 2002 and 2009 on Channel 4, including Michael Jackson, Craig David and Trisha Goddard.

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The actor apologised for the use of blackface in the series, with it subsequently being removed, as confirmed to The Sun.

A spokesperson told the tabloid: "We support Leigh in his decision to reflect on Bo' Selecta! in light of recent events and we've agreed with him to remove the show from the All 4 archive."

Featured Image Credit: ITV

Amelia Ward
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