BGT Ashley banjo

BGT: Ashley Banjo tells Graham Norton he’s ‘glad’ he hit a nerve with BLM performance

He said he would 'never take it back'

BGT star Ashley Banjo has told Graham Norton he has no regrets over Diversity’s Black Lives Matter-inspired routine.

Ashley and his Diversity bandmates hit the headlines as tens of thousands of Brits complained to Ofcom about the performance.

However, the broadcasting regulator threw out all 24,000 complaints. It said BGT didn’t raise “any issues which warranted investigation”.

Viewers had complained that the routine – which depicted the death of George Floyd – was racist towards white people.

BGT Ashley banjo
Ashley Banjo said he knew Diversity’s BGT routine would be “risky” (Credit: YouTube)

What did Ashley Banjo say about BGT routine?

Now, speaking out on The Graham Norton Show, Ashley has backed the dance and said: “I would never take it back.”

In scenes that will be aired tonight (October 9), Ashley told the host he knew that the Diversity routine would be “risky”.

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He said: “We knew it would be risky and we knew people wouldn’t like it, but I wasn’t quite ready for the amount of people that didn’t like it!”

I’m glad it did. I am super proud of it and I would never take it back.

Ashley added: “All we tried to do was a summary of 2020 ending with hope and a coming together, but somehow it turned into something that touched a very raw nerve.”

Ashley has stepped in for Simon Cowell on the judging panel (Credit: ITV)

‘Glad’ he did it

Defiant, Ashley added: “I’m glad it did. I am super proud of it and I would never take it back.”

The Diversity frontman is currently standing in for Simon Cowell on the BGT judging panel following an accident which saw the show’s boss break his back.

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Asked about becoming a judge on the show that made him famous, Ashley said it feels “crazy”.

He revealed: “It is a crazy full-circle moment 11 years on to be sitting in Simon Cowell’s chair.”

The Diversity frontman appears on The Graham Norton Show tonight (Credit: BBC)

On the road with Diversity in 2021

Ashley also revealed that, COVID-permitting, the dance troupe are hoping to take their show on the road next year.

Ashley revealed: “Fingers crossed, it is happening and will be on the road next year. I am so excited about it. There are literally more dates than I think my body can take!”

Watch Ashley on The Graham Norton Show tonight on BBC One at 10.45m.

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