Ashley addresses Diversity Ofcom complaints after Nabil Abdulrashid’s routine

Ashley Banjo laughed off Diversity’s recent Ofcom complaints on Saturday’s Britain’s Got Talent when he responded to comedian Nabil Abdulrashid’s ‘political’ routine.  

The talent judge, 32, told the virtual audience he ‘knows what it’s like to get a few complaints’ after Nabil joked about the programme becoming one of the most complained about TV shows of the decade.

During his routine, the comedian addressed his previous performance getting 733 Ofcom complaints as he hit back at critics.  

Joke: Ashley Banjo laughed off Diversity’s recent Ofcom complaints on Saturday’s Britain’s Got Talent, telling the virtual audience he ‘knows what it’s like to get a few complaints’

Nabil divided viewers with the routine with some branding the performance ‘too political’ for a Saturday night show while others praised him for ‘pushing boundaries’.   

Ashley’s joke was a reference to his dance group Diversity’s recent Black Lives Matter inspired routine which received 24,500 complaints from the broadcasting watchdog Ofcom, who went on to defend the performance. 

The act saw group leader Ashley have a white man’s knee leaning on his neck, in reference to the death of black man George Floyd earlier this year. 

It comes after Nabil received 733 complaints objecting to last week’s routine, which also saw him tackling racism in his act.

In his performance on Saturday Nabil began his divisive act with a pretend press conference introduced by newsreader Charlene White, with the comedian then answering questions from journalists.

Opinions: The talent judge, 32, made the quip in his feedback on comedian Nabil Abdulrashid's routine where he joked about Winston Churchill being black and made several other references to race

Opinions: The talent judge, 32, made the quip in his feedback on comedian Nabil Abdulrashid’s routine where he joked about Winston Churchill being black and made several other references to race

Defiant: In response to his performance Ashley said: 'I know what it's like to get a few complaints!'

Defiant: In response to his performance Ashley said: ‘I know what it’s like to get a few complaints!’

In response to the complaints about Diversity’s BLM performance he joked that the backlash proved climate change was real, because ‘how else do you explain so many snowflakes in October?’ 

He then joked that racists had written hundreds of letters to Ofcom to complain – but he was more just surprised ‘that they could write’. 

As part of his act he also asked what colour Churchill’s statue is and questioned how many white men are really named Winston. 

In response to his performance Ashley said: ‘I know what it’s like to get a few complaints! There are two ways you can react, you can bend to pressure or you can be unapologetically yourself. 

‘And it’s pretty obvious to me which one you chose! It’s not even about being black it’s about being unapologetically you.’  

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Reaction: Fans of the show were quick to respond on Twitter, with many writing that the act was far too 'political'

Reaction: Fans of the show were quick to respond on Twitter, with many writing that the act was far too ‘political’ 

Routine: Nabil's act also poked fun at the assumptions people make about Muslims and the protests which saw a statue of former slave owner Edward Colston toppled in Bristol

Routine: Nabil’s act also poked fun at the assumptions people make about Muslims and the protests which saw a statue of former slave owner Edward Colston toppled in Bristol

Fans of the show were quick to respond on Twitter, with one user writing: ‘Well this is controversial!!! @Ofcom get on this!! This is NOT comedy @BGT This is NOT talent!! This is NOT funny!!’ 

Another said: ‘Not funny at all just a political rant’, as someone else responded: ‘When did BGT become a platform for political views?’ 

However others gave the routine more positive feedback, with one saying: ‘This act is actually important for the show, nothings too political, if you’re getting pressed you just can’t handle your privilege being questioned #BGT’.

Another wrote: ‘So many people complaining about Nabil’s set and saying it was offensive…yes he used comedy to highlight real issues and if that made you feel uncomfortable/horrified/offended, then the problem is with you and not with his act! #bgtfinal’. 

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Debate: However others gave the routine more positive feedback, with one saying: 'This act is actually important for the show, nothings too political'

Debate: However others gave the routine more positive feedback, with one saying: ‘This act is actually important for the show, nothings too political’

Nabil’s routine also poked fun at the assumptions people make about Muslims and the protests which saw a statue of former slave owner Edward Colston toppled in Bristol.

He joked that the only people involved in the statue’s toppling were white, and that was proved because they did it in front of the police without being tasered or pepper sprayed.

He finished off at the end of his act by saying that if he won the show people would say he only won because he was black. 

Alesha Dixon said in her positive feedback that he pushed the boundaries, while Amanda Holden said he was funnier than in his semi final. 

It comes after Nabil already received 733 complaints objecting to last week’s routine, which also saw him tackling racism in his act.  

The funnyman, 35, wowed the judges with his act that saw him joke about racism, with one moment seeing him make a 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 Nastie and I are both fat, we just both happen to be black too. Don’t throw in the race card guys!’

Reaction: It comes after Nabil already received 733 complaints objecting to last week's routine, which also saw him tackling racism in his act

Reaction: It comes after Nabil already received 733 complaints objecting to last week’s routine, which also saw him 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.

‘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.   

Not impressed: 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'

Not impressed: 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’

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