Britain’s Got Talent finalist Nabil Abdulrashid has been accused of ‘bullying’ and ‘homophobia’ by a former co-star who he shared the screen with back in 2016.
Comedian Nabil, 35, won the semi-final of the ITV talent show on Saturday, but also attracted a barrage of complaints after garnering laughs for mocking racists.
And now Ferhan Khan – who appeared alongside Nabil on Muslims Like Us, a BBC series which showed 10 British Muslims with differing world views living together – has stepped forward to make the shocking claims about the comedian.
Accusation: Britain’s Got Talent finalist Nabil Abdulrashid, left, has been accused of ‘bullying’ and ‘homophobia’ by former co-star Ferhan Khan, right, who he shared the screen with in 2016
Ferhan, 36, who is gay, told the Daily Star: ‘When I saw him back on TV it brought back all the nightmares I had buried. He made a comment about how being gay was “not halal”. Twice he mimicked my voice and my hand gestures.
‘I felt hurt and upset. It brought back all the nightmares I suffered at school as a victim of homophobic bullying. I hated it.’
Project manager Ferhan also told the Daily Star that on another occasion, when he was chopping onions in the kitchen, Nabil ‘flew into a rage’, causing him to cry.
Show: Nabil and Ferhan appeared together on Muslims Like Us, a BBC series which showed 10 British Muslims with differing world views living together
Recalling the alleged moment, he said: ‘He made me feel afraid. I felt bullied. People should know what he is like. I didn’t stand up to him then but I am now.’
Despite Ferhan’s claims, a source close to Muslims Like Us told MailOnline that no wrongdoing was on Nabil’s part was ever found to have happened.
The source said: ‘The contributors were watched 24/7 and although it was clear Nabil and Ferhan didn’t get along, there were no incidents of any homophobic or bullying behaviour, certainly not from Nabil.
‘In fact, the one time producers did step in was to warn Ferhan and another female contributor that their aggressive behaviour towards Nabil over the onion incident would not be tolerated.
‘They’ve seen each on a few occasions since but have been courteous – in fact, Ferhan even asked Nabil if they could work together at one point.’
Friendly: While it appears that the two had a contentious relationship on the show, Ferhan shared a snap of them reuniting with another castmate back in 2017
While it appears that the two had a contentious relationship on the show, and engaged in back-and-forths about it on Twitter, Ferhan shared a snap of them reuniting with another castmate back in 2017.
A source close to Nabil added: ‘Nabil went on the show to open his eyes to the different values and beliefs that range across the British Muslim community.
‘He’s the first to admit he didn’t get along with everyone in the house, but he’s really saddened that these false accusations have been made.
‘Despite suffering years of abuse on his socials since appearing, he’s really tried to use his platform to open up important discussions.’
MailOnline has contacted a representative for Britain’s Got Talent for comment.
Winner: Comedian Nabil, 35, won the semi-final of the ITV talent show on Saturday, but also attracted a barrage of complaints after garnering laughs for mocking racists
The claims come after BGT’s Saturday episode hit 1,000 Ofcom complaints, with viewers objecting to Nabil’s comedy set and judge Amanda Holden’s dress.
Amanda, 49, drew criticism once again, as she took to the stage wearing another daring dress, which featured thigh-high split and plunging neckline.
Nabil’s act on racism came just weeks after Diversity’s dance routine, which featured a Black Lives Matter-inspired moment, sparked almost 25,000 complaints.
The increase in viewers’ grievances means that BGT has now become the most complained about TV show of the decade.
The ITV talent show has attracted a whopping 28,000 Ofcom complaints from this series alone, with Diversity’s performance racking up the most criticism.
Criticism: Amanda, 49, drew criticism once again, as she took to the stage wearing another daring dress, which featured thigh-high split and plunging neckline
The current series, which concludes on Saturday, has seen more than 28,000 people make official complaints to the media regulator, with the amount jumping ahead of the previous most complained about show, Celebrity Big Brother.
The now defunct Channel 5 reality show saw 25,372 people protest to Ofcom after Roxanne Pallett wrongfully accused actor Ryan Thomas of maliciously hitting her.
Diversity’s performance during the show’s first semi-final attracted 24,500 complaints to Ofcom.
The performance saw group leader Ashley Banjo have a white man’s knee leaning on his neck, in reference to the death of black man George Floyd earlier this year.
Controversial: The ITV talent show has attracted a whopping 28,000 Ofcom complaints from this series alone, with Diversity’s routine racking up the most criticism
The routine left several people outraged over its political message, while a huge amount of people also praised the performance.
Ofcom have since announced they will not investigate any further, while ITV has ‘stood with Diversity’ as they featured adverts in national newspapers in support of the controversial dance.
Meanwhile, Alesha Dixon, 41, sparked a further 1,900 complaints for wearing a BLM necklace on the show.
She has also openly supported the group, even telling critics they can ‘Kiss my black a**’ after Ashley Banjo, 31, shared a post on Instagram from a critic telling him to keep politics out of entertainment.
Support: Diversity’s dance last month sparked 24,500 complaints but Ofcom have since announced they will not investigate any further. Ashley Banjo pictured
Elsewhere, other grievances include comedian Allan Finnegan’s dark comedy routine, which saw 304 people moan.
While 48 fumed at dogs being kept in cages during one performance, and a further 19 spoke out after an act seemingly broke social distancing rules.
On Monday, media regulator Ofcom revealed to MailOnline that a whopping 892 viewers complained about Saturday’s performance, with 733 objecting to Nabil’s routine, which saw him tackling racism in his act.
Meanwhile, head judge Amanda garnered 136 complaints for her very daring purple gown which featured a sheer black lace bustier.
Second place: Roxanne Pallett (pictured) previously made Celebrity Big Brother the most complained about show of the decade wrongfully accused Ryan Thomas of hitting her
Nabil has since revealed he’s been sent death threats after the televising of his act, during which he mocked racists.
While the comedian won the semi-final of the show on Saturday, beating unicyclist Wesley Williams, it seems like some viewers were not loving his routine.
He tweeted after the show: ‘Funny how I made fun of lefties too but so far it’s not them wishing death on me or sending me abuse.. hmmm who were the snowflakes again?’
He also penned: ‘I promise to do no jokes about racism or Islamophobia in my final if I experience no racism or Islamophobia between now and then.’
Gushing: Judge Alesha Dixon said of his routine, ‘It’s okay to feel a bit uncomfortable with comedy, I think that’s what comedy is about and I think you’re very brave’
Staying strong: Nabil has discussed receiving death threats on Twitter and has vowed to give people something to complain about
‘They want to complain? Ok, I’ll give them something to complain about.. TUNE IN ON SATURDAY.’
The funnyman wowed the judges with his act that saw him joke about how his ‘white liberal left-wing friend’ told him to ‘forget he was black’ so that he wouldn’t be subjected to racism.
During his performance, he also quipped: ‘People watching will think that it’s another of one of those Black Lives Matter guys doing jokes about stop and search.
‘No, it’s a joke about being fat. Big Narstie and I are both fat, we just both happen to be black too. Don’t throw in the race card guys!’
Delighted: Nabil won Alesha Dixon’s Golden Buzzer during his audition earlier in the year, and she heaped praise on him before hailing him as ‘edgy and brave’ for tackling racism in his act
The judges were impressed by his performance, with Alesha Dixon, 40, remarking: ‘I really enjoyed it, the reason I picked you as my Golden Buzzer is you’re quite edgy, you’re different, and you’re that guy.
Ofcom revealed that they are yet to make a decision about whether to investigate the latest crop of complaints, telling MailOnline: ‘We are assessing these complaints against our broadcasting rules, before deciding whether or not to investigate’.
The vast amount of complaints comes just a week after Amanda sparked 235 Ofcom complaints about previous racy ensemble which led viewers to question whether she had suffered a wardrobe malfunction.
The Heart FM presenter took to Instagram to shut down fans’ claims that she ‘flashed her nipples’ in her navy thigh-slit gown, which was complete with a plunging neckline.
What a man! Nabil’s act has received lots of support from people on Twitter but also some vile abuse – he has been responding to messages with patience, humour and grace
However, despite the furore the previous week, a defiant Amanda dared to bare again on Saturday in her flash-fleshing ensemble which featured a perilously high leg split that showcased her sensational figure.
‘It’s okay to feel a bit uncomfortable with comedy, I think that’s what comedy is about and I think you’re very brave to take on the subject of racism, very poignant right now.’
She went on: ‘I think we all need to learn to laugh a bit more and have fun so well done, it was great.’
Ashley Banjo, who recently admitted he and his fellow Diversity members were subjected to racist abuse following their performance in the show’s first semi final, called Nabil’s act ‘legendary.’
After being voted through to the final, Nabil was emotional and claimed he was happy he had made it through because it ‘meant a lot’ as he represented a lot of people.
Jewellery drama: Meanwhile, Alesha Dixon, 41, sparked a further 1,900 complaints for wearing a BLM necklace on the show