Leigh Francis has filmed ‘Bo’ Selecta!’ reboot pilot

Written by on December 20, 2022

Leigh Francis has said he’s filmed a pilot episode for a Bo’ Selecta! reboot.

The comedian, who played various characters and caricatures of celebrities in the Channel 4 sketch show, confirmed he’s filmed a pilot featuring the return of Avid Merrion and The Bear.

Speaking to The Sun, Francis said: “Avid Merrion is wandering around somewhere.

“He’s a bit different though, he’s grown up. The Bear was in the pilot too. I don’t know if he’ll stick around, it’s all in the hands of the TV Gods.”

Bo’ Selecta! ran for five seasons on Channel 4 between 2002 and 2009. In June 2020, following an agreement between Francis and Channel 4, the series was pulled from catch-up service All4 following a backlash to the show’s use of blackface.

Francis issued an apology in the same year for his portrayal of certain characters, including Michael Jackson, Craig David and Trisha Goddard.

“Back in 2002, I did a show called Bo’ Selecta!,” Francis said in a video on Instagram. “I portrayed many black people. Back then I didn’t think anything about it, people didn’t say anything – I’m not going to blame it on other people.

“I’ve been talking to some people and I didn’t realise how offensive it was back then and I just want to apologise. I just want to say sorry for any upset I caused, whether I was Michael Jackson, Craig David, Trisha Goddard – all people that I’m a big fan of. I guess we’re all on a learning journey.”

Earlier this year, David questioned the sincerity of Francis’ apology, which was posted amid renewed focus on the Black Lives Matter movement.

“It just feels a bit of a coincidence that it happened to come at a time when George Floyd has been killed in broad daylight in America,” David said. “To then have the Black Lives Matter movement… protests around the world.

“And then [Francis’ apology] comes as a reaction to something that really should never have gone there, in terms of ever putting a rubber mask on that’s blackface, which it was.

“And it’s just being accountable for that. I think that, ultimately, I never really spoke about that. And the coincidence of it just felt too timely. I feel emotional speaking about it, because I just felt like I was talking on behalf of so many people who’ve been bullied and experienced that.”

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