TV presenter Trisha Goddard has said she “felt sick” when meeting Leigh Francis after he played a caricature of her on the sketch show Bo’ Selecta.
Speaking on Newsnight, Goddard, who is best known for her morning talk show Trisha, said she “hated” Francis’ portrayal of her.
She said: “Let me just tell you, I’ve only just recently discovered how bullied my children were in Norfolk over the character.
“It was the big lips, and all the things that every black child has been bullied about. I can laugh at myself, but it was the racial over-the-top with the big wide lips and the ‘rice and peas’. I couldn’t watch it.
“A couple of times I bumped into Leigh, I couldn’t even talk to him I felt so sick. And recently, at an awards do, he knows I walked away from him.”
Francis, who is widely known for his character Keith Lemon, posted a tearful video to Instagram last week in the wake of the death of George Floyd, in which he apologised to Goddard and the other black celebrities he wore rubber masks to portray on the show.
Bo’ Selecta has since been removed from Channel 4’s on-demand service All4.
Goddard criticised Channel 4 for commissioning Bo’ Selecta, which originally aired from 2002 to 2004.
She said: “For an entire corporation to say: ‘Yes that’s a good idea – let’s put it on and commission it’. We all make mistakes, but if you’re going to apologise, just the words aren’t enough.
“While I was on air, a couple of times Special Branch had to teach my children not to open parcels sent to the house. They were once scrambled to my daughter’s school. Not because of anything I said, just because of how I look.”
Goddard also rubbished rumours that she had “forced” Francis into filming his apology video.
“After Leigh’s heartfelt apology, the racism, the remarks as a result, because it was seen as me forcing him to do it. I didn’t force him, I didn’t even ask him,” Goddard said. “I have gone through the most disgusting stuff.”
In his apology, Francis said: “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 I’m a big fan of. I guess we’re all on a learning journey.”
Floyd died when former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin knelt on Floyd’s neck during his attempted arrest on May 25, killing him.
Chauvin has since been sacked and charged with second-degree murder and manslaughter. Three of his colleagues, Thomas Lane, Tou Thao and J Alexander Keung, are all facing charges of aiding and abetting second-degree murder, and aiding and abetting second-degree manslaughter.