On Air Now
The Capital Evening Show with Jimmy Hill 7pm - 10pm
11 June 2020, 11:04 | Updated: 11 June 2020, 11:07
Amid the growing Black Lives Matter movement, Ant and Dec put out a statement to apologise for their old TV sketches and confirmed ITV have removed scenes of them impersonating people of colour.
Ant and Dec issued an apology for impersonating people of other ethnicities during old episodes of Saturday Night Takeaway, as the Black Lives Matter movement continues to push high profile celebrities, programmes, and brands to re-consider prejudice actions they have taken in the past.
As part of their popular Saturday night series Ant McPartlin and Declan Donnelly concealed their identities with darker makeup and prosthetics to pull pranks on celebrities.
The sketches took place across series filmed in 2003 and 2004 and they have confirmed with ITV the clips are removed from both the ITVHub and the Saturday Night Takeaway YouTube channel.
In the scenes from 2003, the pair dressed as two fictional Jamaican women and the following year impersonated two Japanese girls, adopting fake accents.
Their apology comes in the wake of George Floyd’s death and subsequent global protests against racial injustice.
In a statement, the TV stars 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 was offended."
They continued: “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steps to ensure footage was taken down, and have again recently confirmed with ITV that these segments, and any other historical content that could cause offence, does not appear on either the ITV Hub or the Saturday Night Takeaway YouTube channel.”
Their statement comes after the BBC, BritBox, and Netflix removed comedy programmes Little Britain and Come Fly With Me, by creators David Walliams and Matt Lucas, from its streaming services.