Keith Lemon 'deeply sorry' for playing black characters on 'Bo' Selecta!'

LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 14: Keith Lemon poses for a portrait to promote his new film "Keith Lemon:The Film" on August 14, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Dave Hogan/Getty Images)
Keith Lemon poses for a portrait to promote his film "Keith Lemon:The Film" (Dave Hogan/Getty Images)

Keith Lemon has said he is “deeply sorry” about playing black people in his sketch show Bo’ Selecta!

The comedian and actor – real name Leigh Francis – portrayed people such as Craig David and late King of Pop Michael Jackson on the Channel 4 show, and has admitted he did not realise how “offensive” it was.

Posting a message and video on Instagram, the star said he had been doing “a lot of talking and learning” following the death of George Floyd, whose death in police custody in the US has sparked outrage.

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"It's been a weird few days, it’s been a weird few days,” he told his 1.7 million followers on the site.

“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! and 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.

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“I've been talking to some people and I didn't realise how offensive it was back then and I just want to apologise.

"I want to say sorry for any upset I caused whether I was Michael Jackson, Craig David or Trisha Goddard, all people that I am a big fan of.

"I guess we're all on a learning journey.”

Keith Lemon poses for photographers at the TV Choice Awards 2015 at a central London venue, London, Monday, Sept. 7, 2015. (Photo by Jonathan Short/Invision/AP)
Keith Lemon at the TV Choice Awards 2015 (Jonathan Short/Invision/AP)

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He wrote in the accompanying caption: “Following recent events, I’ve done a lot of talking and learning and I would like to put this out there.

“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.”

The star, 47, added the hashtag “#blacklivesmatter”.

Bo’ Selecta! started in 2002 and aired five series and several specials.