Mr Motivator details racist experience at job interview: 'Why didn't you tell me you were black?'

Albertina Lloyd
Entertainment reporter, Yahoo UK
Mr Motivator has detailed the racism he experienced at the start of his TV career. (PA)

Mr Motivator has detailed some of the racism he faced as a black man trying to make it as a TV fitness instructor.

The exercise guru - who became a cult figure on British TV after starring on ITV breakfast show GMTV in the 90s - has opened up about some of the racism he experienced in his early career.

Mr Motivator - whose real name is Derrick Evans - told the Radio Times: “When television came along, it took me 10 years to get a break as an on-screen fitness trainer.

Read more: Trisha received 'even more vile abuse' in wake of 'Bo'Selecta!' apology

“Every time I went to the studios, the guys would say, ‘Look, for a white lady with two kids, a black guy on TV would never work.’ But I kept on persevering.”

Mr Motivator is a cult figure on British TV, leading workouts in his bright spandex outfits. (PA)

The 67-year-old TV star was born in Jamaica and moved to the UK in 1961.

Recalling some of his earliest experiences of racism he said: “When I came to Leicester aged 10 from Jamaica, everyone would look at me as I walked by. So I would turn around, smile and wave.

“Later, when I walked into my very first job interview and the guy said to me, ‘Why didn’t you tell me you were black?,’ I replied, ‘Why didn’t you tell me you were white?'”

During the coronavirus pandemic Mr Motivator has joined the BBC's HealthCheck UK Live helping viewers to keep fit in lockdown.

Mr Motivator is helping the nation keep fit in lockdown. (Getty Images)

He said: “Surviving lockdown is about being positive, but we have also been learning about what really matters….

Read more: Coronavirus survivor Linda Lusardi to join Mr Motivator for charity work out sessions

“Racism is always stupid and wrong, but it seems especially so in a time dominated by illness, a time when we should all be realising that we all need each other.

“Imagine if a racist person was badly injured and needed a blood transfusion to survive.

“I don’t think that person would hesitate to take my blood and, when they recovered, would be happily walking around with it inside of them. Blood does not discriminate.”

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting.