Trisha Goddard says her children were bullied because of 'Bo' Selecta!' impersonation

Trisha Goddard (Mike Marsland/WireImage)
Trisha Goddard (Mike Marsland/WireImage)

Trisha Goddard has said she hated being impersonated on Bo’ Selecta! and that it caused her children to be bullied.

The TV star, 62, was one of the people portrayed by Leigh Francis on the sketch show, alongside the likes of Craig David and Michael Jackson, with the comedian sometimes using latex facemasks for his caricatures.

Francis has recently apologised, saying on Instagram that he had not realised how “offensive” it was and that he had been doing “a lot of talking and learning” following the death of George Floyd.

Read more: Trisha Goddard hits back at 'cancer sob story' trolls after Dancing On Ice exit

Speaking on BBC's Newsnight, Goddard said she hated Francis’s impression of her.

She said: “Let me just tell you, I've only just recently discovered how bullied my children were at school in Norfolk over the character.

“Let me be clear on this, if the parody was just of me that would be one thing, but it was the big lips, all the things that every black child has been bullied about.

"I can laugh at myself, I’ve had people joke about me, but it was the racial over the top with the big lips, the big wide hips, the rice and peas. I couldn't actually watch it.”

Leigh Francis as Trisha in a still from Bo Selecta. (Channel 4)
Leigh Francis as Trisha in a still from Bo Selecta. (Channel 4)

Goddard went on: "A couple of times I bumped into Leigh, my daughter reminded me as she was with me once, I couldn’t even talk to him, I felt so sick.

“And recently at an awards do, he knows, I walked away from him."

Goddard said Francis has now spoken to her daughter on the phone about the bullying and “viciousness” she endured at school.

He was "absolutely horrified" to hear it, she said.

This week it was announced that Bo' Selecta! had been removed from Channel 4’s streaming service All 4.

Read more: Leigh Francis has revealed he gets sexually harassed while in public

A Channel 4 spokesperson said: “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.”

Many shows have come under scrutiny in recent days, with Little Britain being removed from BBC iPlayer as well as other streaming sites BritBox and Netflix and an episode of Fawlty Towers being removed from UKTV over “racial slurs”.