Diversity’s Ashley Banjo calls Black Lives Matter dance routine ‘life-changing’ as it gets BAFTA nod


Diversity star Ashley Banjo said he is ‘massively proud’ of his group’s Black Lives Matter dance routine after it received a BAFTA nomination this week.

Appearing on Saturday night’s The Jonathan Ross Show, the dancer, 32, will touch upon the impressive routine, which took place during Britain’s Got Talent in September.

He tells host Jonathan, 60: ‘It was controversial, made a lot of people unhappy, but it also made a lot of people stand up and be proud. It made a lot of conversations happen that needed to happen.’

Proud: Diversity star Ashley Banjo, 32, said he is ‘just massively proud’ of his group’s Black Lives Matter dance routine after it received a BAFTA nomination this week

He will add: ‘That performance, it was life-changing, it was incredible.

‘To potentially win a Bafta for something that was controversial when it shouldn’t have been, it will be something that stays with me for the rest of my life.’

Ashley is also set to touch upon the negative feedback the routine received.

Speaking of the controversy, the doting father will say: ‘We thought it would ruffle a few feathers, but not be one of the most complained about moments of the decade.’

He’ll add: ‘The reaction, even still to this day, the online reaction I get on a daily basis is shocking, actually. But I’d do it 100 times over.’

Diversity's controversial BGT Black Lives Matter routine (pictured) has been nominated for the BAFTA Television Awards 2021's Must-See Moment award

Diversity’s controversial BGT Black Lives Matter routine (pictured) has been nominated for the BAFTA Television Awards 2021’s Must-See Moment award 

The star also confirms to host Jonathan that ITV were supportive of Diversity.

‘They backed it,’ he’ll say. ‘They put out full-page ads in the press.’

Touchingly, Ashley goes on to reveal just how much the moment meant for his own father.

‘My dad, to see me taking the knee in the national papers across the country.

‘He was like, “I was young when it would say no blacks, no dogs, no Irish and now I’m looking at you in the national press”.

Important: Appearing on Saturday night's The Jonathan Ross Show, the dancer will touch upon the impressive routine, which took place during Britain's Got Talent in September

Important: Appearing on Saturday night’s The Jonathan Ross Show, the dancer will touch upon the impressive routine, which took place during Britain’s Got Talent in September 

‘He was really touched. That’s progress. Just seeing his face.’

Ashley will also open up about the call he received from Prince Harry and Meghan Markle after Diversity’s performance aired.

He says: ‘We had a really lovely chat. Made me sort of realise, way before their [Oprah] interview, they spoke me through some stuff and really opened my eyes to some of the stuff they’d been through.

‘I was like, wow, this is real and if anyone understood it, they did, about where I was at, in the midst of a storm.

Candid: He tells host Jonathan, 60: 'It was controversial, made a lot of people unhappy, but it also made a lot of people stand up and be proud'

Candid: He tells host Jonathan, 60: ‘It was controversial, made a lot of people unhappy, but it also made a lot of people stand up and be proud’

‘It was basically front page news for about three weeks. I still can’t really understand why.

‘It was huge and people were talking about it. They said, ‘listen we understand what it’s like to receive that sort of negativity.’

There was fury on Tuesday as Diversity’s controversial Britain’s Got Talent Black Lives Matter dance routine was today shortlisted for a BAFTA after being nominated by ITV despite being the second most complained-about TV moment for a decade.

Officials were accused of pursuing a ‘woke, political agenda’ by considering the dance for the Virgin Media’s Must-See Moment Award, where it will now go to a public vote alongside five other scenes.

Royal friends: Ashley will also open up about the call he received from Prince Harry and Meghan Markle after Diversity's performance aired

Royal friends: Ashley will also open up about the call he received from Prince Harry and Meghan Markle after Diversity’s performance aired

Led by Ashley, Diversity opened their performance by reciting a viral poem The Great Realisation by the singer Tomfoolery, about the BLM movement and police brutality.

During their performance, the group also narrated the murder of George Floyd at the hands of police officer Derek Chauvin put his knee on his neck in Minneapolis on May 25 for nearly nine minutes.

The flood of complaints put the controversial routine just steps behind Celebrity Big Brother’s ‘punchgate’ which received 25,237 objections in 2018, after Roxanne Pallett falsely accused Ryan Thomas of hitting her.

The Jonathan Ross Show airs on Saturday 1 May at 9:35pm on ITV.

Coming up: On Saturday's show Ashley will be joined by Vicky McClure, Martin Compston, Ellie Simmonds and Paul Weller

Coming up: On Saturday’s show Ashley will be joined by Vicky McClure, Martin Compston, Ellie Simmonds and Paul Weller

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