TV presenter Trisha Goddard has spoken out about the way she was mockingly portrayed by comedian Leigh Francis on his Channel 4 sketch show Bo’ Selecta.
Goddard said she had “hated” Francis’s “over the top” depiction and had “felt sick” whenever their paths crossed.
“A couple of times I bumped into Leigh, I couldn’t even talk to him I felt so sick,” she told BBC Two’s Newsnight.
“I’ve been talking to some people and I didn’t realise how offensive it was back then and I just want to apologise,” he said on Instagram.
Goddard said Francis had since “had a long talk” with one of her daughters and had been “absolutely horrified” to learn of the bullying she endured at school as a result of his portrayal.
Bo’ Selecta, which originally aired from 2002 to 2004, has since been removed from Channel 4’s All4 on-demand service.
“We support Leigh in his decision to reflect on Bo’ Selecta in light of recent events and we’ve agreed with him to remove the show from the All 4 archive,” said Channel 4 in a statement.
Goddard, who hosted a morning talk show on ITV and Channel 5 from 1998 to 2010, revealed she had “walked away” from Francis at a recent awards event.
She questioned why Channel 4 had commissioned Bo’ Selecta in the first place, marvelling that “an entire corporation” had thought it “a good idea”.
She also queried the way celebrities and media organisations recently posted black squares on their social media accounts to mark the Black Lives Matter movement.
“There’s loads of organisations that put it up there because it was the thing to do,” she told Newsnight’s Emma Barnett. “Some of them treat it like the thing du jour.
“I actually posted ‘don’t bother putting this up if you’re not going to do the work'”, she added, referring to a strongly worded Instagram message from earlier this month.
Bo’ Selecta is one of a number of programmes that have faced renewed scrutiny in light of the mass Black Lives Matter protests that followed the death of George Floyd.
This week also saw Gone with the Wind taken off the HBO Max streaming service after objections were raised to the 1939 film’s depiction of slavery.