BBC presenter Lucy Worsley apologises for using n-word in American History’s Biggest Fibs

The presenter used the uncensored word while quoting John Wilkes Booth on the programme, first aired in 2019.

Lucy Worsley (American History's Biggest Fibs)

Presenter Lucy Worsley has taken to Twitter to apologise after she was criticised for using the n-word on BBC Two documentary American History’s Biggest Fibs.


The second episode of the three-part series, which was originally shown on BBC Four in 2019, was repeated on Saturday, taking on the subject of the confederacy and the freedom of slaves.

During the episode, Worsley recited a quote from John Wilkes Booth that contained the n-word. Her decision not to censor the quote was criticised on social media, with Worsley apologising in response to one Twitter user who directly called her out.

She wrote: “You’re right, @therealpetraamp, it wasn’t acceptable and I apologise.”

The quote from John Wilkes Booth – who would go on to assassinate President Abraham Lincoln days later – had been a racist response to Lincoln’s 1865 speech that argued Black people should be given the right to vote.

Wilkes Booth had claimed “that means [n-word] citizenship. By God, that’s the last speech he will ever make”.

Earlier last week, the BBC received 280 Ofcom complaints for another incident of using the n-word uncensored, with the slur used during a BBC News segment that saw newsreader Fiona Lamdin reporting on a racially motivated attack.

Lamdin used the word while quoting the language used by the men who had carried out the attack. has approached the BBC for comment.


Episodes 1 and 2 of American History’s Biggest Fibs are available to watch on BBC iPlayer – find out what else to watch with our TV Guide.