ANT McPartlin and Declan Donnelly have issued an apology for using “blackface” during their ITV prime time show Saturday Night Takeaway.
The presenters issued the joint statement on their social media accounts earlier this evening.
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ITV that these segments, and any other historical content, that could cause offence, does not appear on either the ITV Hub or the Saturday Night Takeaway YouTube channel.”
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 dress 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.