Ant and Dec have issued an apology via their social media channels for “impersonating people of colour” in old Saturday Night Takeaway clips.
In a 2005 episode of their flagship show, the Geordie presenters pranked the cast of Emmerdale dressed as “Patty and Bernice”, who were supposed to be Jamaican.
They have since apologised for the sketch on Twitter, following the recent Black Lives Matter protests taking place across the world, including the UK.
They told their 6.8 million followers: “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.
“We purposely stopped doing this several years ago and certainly would not make these sketches today.
— antanddec (@antanddec) June 10, 2020
“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steps to ensure footage was taken down, and have again recently confirmed with ITV that these segments, and any other historical content that could cause offence, does not appear on either the ITV Hub or the Saturday Night Takeaway YouTube Channel.”
In February 2019, the Emmerdale sketch remerged along with another from 2004, where Ant and Dec went to Coronation Street dressed as two Japanese girls, Suki and Keiko.
Saturday Night Takeaway aired earlier this year on ITV, but didn’t manage to finish the 2020 run before the coronavirus pandemic brought productions to a halt.
They aired their penultimate show from the studio without a live audience, and the finale was done from their homes as the nation fell into lockdown.