Diversity’s performance sparked 24,000 Ofcom complaints (Picture: ITV)
Ashley Banjo has revealed he’s sat down and chatted to people who complained to Ofcom about Diversity’s Black Lives Matter performance for his new documentary.
Last year, the dance troupe performed a powerful routine at the Britain’s Got Talent final, which commented on the most important events from the year, including the Covid-19 pandemic and the Black Lives Matter protests across the world.
Despite Diversity receiving widespread support for the routine, Ofcom also received 24,000 complaints.
Ashley, who will take to ITV with his new documentary, Ashley Banjo: Britain in Black and White, revealed: ‘The performance had a lot of attention on it. The Bafta was another angle, and this documentary will be another angle.
‘It’s not just about me and the group and what happened, it’s actually looking at it from both angles, so I’ve actually been doing interviews with people who complained, people who think opposite to me, and it’s been really interesting.’
Asked if it was difficult to take on the interviews, Ashley explained: ‘No, not really. I would say it was interesting, but not difficult.
‘I’m so set in my opinions but also massively open to new ways of thinking so when people say things to you that you feel are slightly nonsensical…it’s been interesting.’
‘I don’t want to give too much away, but I think there have been opinions changed on both sides of the argument,’ he added, speaking to Metro.co.uk as he partners with Old El Paso to launch their Slam Dunk Mess Free Challenge.
As for what he wants fans to take away from the documentary, he urged: ‘Just keep an open mind on both sides. Wherever you sit in that debate, I think people are really quick to judge. So I think we need to be able to keep an open mind.
‘And when I say that we need to keep the conversation going and talk about stuff, that doesn’t mean just say what you think. It means listen sometimes.’
‘I think we saw with the Euros and everything that happened, this is still a problem that exists but we have come a long way as a nation in the past 20, 10 years. I think we have. We’ve got to keep having these chats, keep talking about it.’
The Dancing On Ice judge is confirmed to host Ashley Banjo: Britain in Black and White as part of ITV’s line-up of Black History Month films this October.
Billed as part journey of discovery, part intimate biography, Ashley will reveal how race and racism have impacted upon his life and that of his family and friends.
Through meetings with civil rights trailblazers from modern history, the entertainer will also try to understand what it means to take a stand.
Ashley also became a dad in 2019, welcoming little Rose with his wife Francesca, and then Micah in 2020.
‘Since I had kids, it’s made me want to make the world that little bit better. Your perspective changes,’ he explained.
‘It makes me want to fight even more because I could argue that my I’m okay, my life’s good, but at the end of the day, I’m not always going to be able to be here for my kids in that way so it obviously makes me want to make sure I can make as much change as possible.’
As for how else his life’s changed since he welcomed the new arrivals into the family, Ashley went on: ‘You worry more! Your time’s not really your own, if you get time off, you have to think what are you doing with the kids? You want to give them as much as you can in the week.
‘Your whole dynamic changes when you have kids, which has its rewards because they’re the best things ever!’
Ashley has partnered with Old El Paso for their Slam Dunk Mess Free Challenge.
Every dunk scored will trigger Old El Paso to donate 10 products to charity FareShare, which works to tackle food poverty in the UK.
For each entry shared on social media a further 20 products will be donated. For those who cannot attend, the brand is inviting people at home to take on the challenge – and for every video shared, 10 products will be donated.
Through the Slam Dunk #MessFreeChallenge Old El Paso is hoping to donate over 30,000 products to families.
Ashley Banjo: Britain in Black and White will air this October on ITV.
What is Ofcom and what does it cover?
Ofcom is the regulator for the communications services that we use and rely on each day.
The watchdog makes sure people get the best from their broadband, home phone and mobile services, as well as keeping an eye on TV and radio.
Ofcom deals with most content on television, radio and video-on-demand services, including the BBC. However, if your complaint is about something you saw or heard in a BBC programme, you may need to complain to the BBC first.
Its rules for television and radio programmes are set out in the Broadcasting Code.
The rules in the Broadcasting Code also apply to the BBC iPlayer.
This Broadcasting Code is the rule book that broadcasters have to follow and it covers a number of areas, including; protecting the under-18s, protecting audiences from harmful and/or offensive material and ensuring that news, in whatever form, is reported with due accuracy and presented with due impartiality.
Audiences can complain to Ofcom if they believe a breach of the Broadcasting Code has been made.
Every time Ofcom receives a complaint from a viewer or listener, they assess it to see if it needs further investigation.
If Ofcom decide to investigate, they will include the case in a list of new investigations, published in the Broadcast and On Demand Bulletin.
An investigation is a formal process which can take some time depending on the complexity of the issues involved.
Ofcom can also launch investigations in the absence of a complaint from a viewer or listener.