Craid David branded Keith Lemon, real name Leigh Francis, a ‘bully’ and stated his show Bo’ Selecta was ‘racist’ in a new interview. R&B singer David rose to fame in 1999 with a string of hits such as Seven Days, Rewind, and many others.
Back in 2002, the Leeds born Leigh Francis created the popular show Bo’ Selecta, a sketch show in which he would portray parody versions of celebrities and ran from 2002 to 2009, and Craig David claims it ‘ruined his life’, calling out Francis for being a ‘bully’ through his impression.
Craig David told The Times Leigh: “was highlighting characteristics he felt would trigger us personally. Every sketch felt personal.
“It felt like a vendetta and when it got a following, it became something that affected me. People would shout at me on the street and I felt the same feeling I had when I was bullied at school. Leigh Francis had normalised bullying by making it comedy.”
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Craig David discussed how the caricature of him deeply affected him and ‘sent him to a dark place’.
The Celebrity Juice star, Leigh Francis, took to Instagram back in 2020 during the height of the Black Lives Matter movement to issue an apology for a past TV show, where he portrayed a number of black celebrities.
Within the lineup of characters, there were a number of famous black people parodied, such as Craig David, Trisha and Michael Jackson. With the amplification of the Black Lives Matter movement, the comic actor took to Instagram in an emotional post to apologise for playing such roles.
However, in The Times interview David cast doubts on the apology saying: “We can all apologise when on the back foot. The moment of expressing his apology seemed very coincidentally timed. Has he reached out to any of the people he did on his show? He hasn’t reached out to me. Has he gone to communities to talk about bullying? Racism? And to be educated? You can only ask him.
“All I’ve seen since his apology is people still tweeting him thinking Bo’ Selecta! is fun and the tone of his response being very much still, ‘I’m the funny guy here’. That he still plays it like a joke after his apology tells me everything.”
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[Featured image: Channel 4]