Leigh Francis has apologised for portraying black people on his sketch show Bo' Selecta!.
The 47 year old dressed up as the likes of Craig David, Michael Jackson, Mel B and Trisha Goddard, using black make-up and prosthetics to impersonate them.
Following the senseless killing of George Floyd — a black man who was murdered by policemen in America — last week, Leigh has now sent his apologies after the poor treatment of black lives has caused outrage throughout the world.
A number of Black Lives Matter protests have taken place in the US, the UK and across the globe and many famous faces blacked out their social media pages in solidarity with the black community.
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Keith Lemon creator Leigh took to Instagram to post an emotional video to his 1.7million followers, in which he said: "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.
"Back in 2002 I did a show called Bo' Selecta! where I portrayed many black people. Back then I didn't think anything about it, people didn't say anything. I'm not going to blame 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, you know? 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 and I guess we're all on a learning journey."
He captioned the post: "Following recent events, I've done a lot of talking and learning and I would like to put this out there.
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"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 [sic]"
Fans were quick to thank him for his apology, with one writing: "Huge respect Leigh. You've set an incredible example there for so many who I'm sure will follow your lead and reflect on their past and present ideas, thoughts and behaviours.
"None of us are perfect, but honest reflection and self criticism is major progress. It's hard, but it's important."
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A second said: "It's a conversation Leigh. Thanks for having the courage to start it."
While a third commented: "Love you and all your shows, so admirable of you to apologise but I know me and my family were never offended!"
Leigh produced five series of Bo’ Selecta! and even found chart success with a Christmas single named Proper Crimbo, which he performed while impersonating black celebrities Craig David, Mel B and Michael Jackson.
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