ANT McPartlin and Declan Donnelly have issued an apology for using blackface disguises on their ITV prime time show Saturday Night Takeaway.
The presenting duo issued the joint statement on their social media accounts on Wednesday, as the Black Lives Matter movement continues to spark discussions around race.
Ant and Dec wore ‘blackface’ in old sketches on Saturday Night Takeaway
In the statement, Ant, and Dec, both 44, said: “During past episodes of Saturday Night Takeaway we impersonated people of colour in the undercover segment of the show.
“We realise this was wrong and want to say that we sincerely sorry to everyone that was offended.
“We purposely stopped doing this several years ago and certainly would not make these sketches today.
“We had already taken steps to ensure footage was taken down and have again recently confirmed with ITV that these segments, and any other historical content, that could cause offence, does not appear on either the ITV Hub or the Saturday Night Takeaway YouTube channel.”
Ant and Dec have apologised to fans for the scenesThe statement was released on their shared social media accounts
The Geordie duo regularly go undercover in the family-friendly show, wearing prosthetics and disguises to trick celebrities as well as members of the public.
Grabs from one of their 2003 sketches recently resurfaced online, showing Ant and Dec dressed up as Jamaican women Patty and Bernice as they appeared as extras on the set of Emmerdale.
The pair previously reminisced about the sketch, laughing as they recalled waking up at 2am in order to transform into the offensive characters.
Ant and Dec pretended to be Jamaican extras on the set of EmmerdaleThey previously laughed as they recalled filming the episode
The decision to axe the controversial episodes from air comes after Little Britain and Come Fly With Me were removed from Netflix, BBC iPlayer and BritBox due to the use of blackface characters.
Both series starring Matt Lucas and David Walliams are no longer available to watch on the online streaming sites amid the Black Lives Matter protests.
BBC and BritBox confirmed the TV shows have been taken down, telling viewers: “Times have changed.”
In Little Britain – which aired from 2003 to 2007 – Walliams wore make up to play spa guest Desiree DeVere.