Leigh Francis Tells Craig David To ‘Move On’ From Bo’ Selecta Impression

Leigh Francis has told Craig David to 'move on' from his Bo' Selecta impression after the singer claimed it ruined his life. 
Credit: Alamy

Leigh Francis has told Craig David to ‘move on’ from his Bo’ Selecta impression.

The Channel 4 show aired from 2002 to 2009 and was created by Francis, who is better known as Keith Lemon.

In the comedy, the Through the Keyhole host would impersonate many celebrities, including Elton John and Michael Jackson, while wearing heavy prosthetics.

One celebrity he dressed up as was musician David, who featured prominently in the show.

However, the artist, who famously has a song that inspired the show’s title – ‘Re-Rewind (When The Crowd Says Bo Selecta)’, has recently hit out at the show. 

Watch Craig David speak about Bo’ Selecta below…

In an interview with The Times, David described the programme as ‘bullying’.

The ‘7 Days’ singer explained: “[Francis] was highlighting characteristics he felt would trigger us personally. Every sketch felt personal.

“It felt like a vendetta and when it got a following, it became something that affected me. 

“People would shout at me on the street and I felt the same feeling I had when I was bullied at school.

“Leigh Francis had normalised bullying by making it comedy.”

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David was also not impressed by the comedian’s makeup and branded it ‘racist’.

The ‘Rewind’ singer added: “It was bullying across the board for everyone. When he put blackface on, that was being racist.

“I’d laugh it off, or run from it. When you’re younger, you think you can ride through this but it chips away until you’re in a really dark place.

“I knew things weren’t right. I was humiliated but had to appear all shiny and positive. I wasn’t ready to confront what that show had done to me.”

Keith Lemon as Craig David.
Craig David has hit out at Leigh Francis’ impression of him, which he described as ‘bullying’ and ‘racist’. Credit: Channel 4

The Celebrity Juice host has now responded to David’s criticism, saying that the singer should ‘move on’ from Bo’ Selecta after believing the pair buried the hatchet in 2014 at Ferne Cotton’s wedding.

Speaking to The Sun, Francis said: “Most people are happy with their portrayal on Bo’ Selecta. Apart from someone we know who wasn’t.

“The only way it’s ever going to go away from him, if he feels people are going on about it, is to stop talking about it.

“It’s ages ago, isn’t it? It is, 20 years ago. I wish he wasn’t upset. I bumped into him at Fearne’s wedding and we hugged it out and everything was all nice.”

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Francis did apologise to the ‘Seven Days’ singer amid the Black Lives Matter protests in 2020 in a public Instagram video on his account, in which he admitted he ‘didn’t realise how offensive’ his character was.

At the time, he 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.”

Channel 4 proceeded to remove all episodes of Bo’ Selecta from its All 4 streaming service.

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Written by Rosario Monachino

Rosario is a content editor at IGV who specialises in film, TV and entertainment news. He has a degree in English and Film from the University of Salford and a masters in Journalism from Liverpool John Moores University.