Leigh Francis, otherwise known as Keith Lemon, has apologised for playing “offensive” black characters on his show Bo’ Selecta!
The 47-year-old became emotional as he said he was “deeply sorry for any upset” he caused when he dressed up as black celebrities on the noughties show.
Taking to Instagram, Leigh said he “didn’t realise how offensive it was back then.”
“Following recent events, I’ve done a lot of talking and learning and I would like to put this out there,” he wrote alongside the video.
“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.”
In the video, the comedian tearfully spoke about the characters that he portrayed.
“My name’s Leigh Francis. I play a character called Keith Lemon on television,” he started the video. “It’s been a weird few days, I’ve sat and thought about things and what I could post to help things.”
“Back in 2002, I did a show called Bo’ Selecta, 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. I didn’t realise how offensive it was back then.”
Leigh proceeded to list some of the names of celebrities he dressed up as, and confirmed that he is a “big fan” of all of them.
“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,” he added.
On this week’s episode of #GossChats, Ali Ryan chats to Love Island winner and rugby star Greg O’Shea about his experience on the reality show, what REALLY happened after his split from Amber Gill, and some of the strange things women have sent him in his DMs…
#GossChats is sponsored by top Irish aesthetic clinic Haus of JeJuve.
View this post on Instagram
On this week’s episode of #GossChats @itsalirose chats to Love Island winner and rugby star @gregoshea about his experience on the reality show, what REALLY happened after the Amber breakup, and some of the strange things women have sent him in his DMs. #GossChats is sponsored by top aesthetic clinic @haus_of_jejuve