Ant and Dec apologise for using blackface

The pair have said that they would not make those sketches today.

Ant and Dec have apologised for a segment of Saturday Night Takeaway in which they impersonated people of colour using blackface.

The pair darkened their skin and wore prosthetics for the undercover sketch, in which they pranked famous faces while in disguise.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

The presenting duo said they would not make those sketches today and had requested ITV, which broadcasts the show, remove them from their streaming catch-up service.

Ant and Dec have apologised for using blackface in a 'comedy' sketch

A statement on their Instagram and Twitter accounts said: "During past episodes of Saturday Night Takeaway we impersonated people of colour in the Undercover segment of the show.

"We realise that this was wrong and want to say that we are sincerely sorry to everyone that we offended.

"We purposely stopped doing this several years ago and certainly would not make these sketches today.

"We had already taken steps to ensure footage was taken down and have again recently confirmed with ITV that these segments, and any other historical content that could cause offence, does not appear on either the ITV Hub or the Saturday Night Takeaway YouTube Channel."

The pair wore blackface in 2003 as they dressed up as two fictional Jamaican women, Patty and Bernice, to prank Emmerdale cast members.

And in 2004 they dressed up as two Japanese girls, Suki and Keiko, using make-up and exaggerated accents.

It comes after Little Britain was removed from iPlayer after coming under fire because of the use of blackface in some sketches.

Walliams sported black make-up and a large afro wig to play the overweight black woman Desiree DeVere.

Lucas also used blackface to play Pastor Jesse King, who said he was "from the ghetto" and spoke in tongues to cure the sick.

Last week, comedian Leigh Francis issued a tearful apology for portraying black celebrities on sketch show Bo' Selecta.

 0 comments

Want to join the conversation? Please or to comment on this article.