By Ron Howells •
Published: 06 Jun 2021 • 22:47
Ashley Banjo Fights Back Tears After Diversity Win Award For BLM Dance That Sparked Complaints. image: Twitter
Ashley Banjo Fights Back Tears After Diversity Win Award For BLM Dance That Sparked Complaints.
EMOTIONAL Ashley Banjo fought back tears over the ‘dark time’ amid racist abuse as Diversity’s Black Lives Matter dance won a Bafta. The dance troupe’s routine on last year’s Britain’s Got Talent received over 30,000 complaints, according to OFCOM.
Meanwhile Ashley, his brother Jordan and his fellow performers also received horrific abuse online, and Ashley made reference to that “dark time” as he accepted the award for Must-See moment at tonight’s ceremony.
Taking to the stage with his younger brother, Ashley, 32, gave a passionate speech.
His voice full of emotion, he said: “I’m in bits man, this is mad. This is so much more than an award. I want to say first thank you to every single person who voted for us, it means so much. Thank you to everyone who stood by us, every phone call, text, comment, DM, you guys made the difference to what was a really dark time.
“Being in the storm of 30,000 complaints, just a torrent of racially charged abuse, threats, all of it, it was a very dark time, but that support made a difference.”
He then surprisingly thanked the social media trolls and haters, saying: “In a way, I have to say thank you to the people who complained, to the people who did put all that abuse out there online, because you showed the truth. You showed exactly why this performance and this moment was necessary.”
The performance that sparked the complaints took place in September 2020 and was inspired by the events of the past 12 months, including the protests against police brutality sparked by the death of George Floyd. The routine drew 31,000 Ofcom complaints and Ashley himself was subject to horrific racist abuse online.
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Ron actually started his working career as an Ophthalmic Technician- things changed when, during a band rehearsal, his amplifier blew up and he couldn’t get it fixed so he took a course at Birmingham University and ended up doing a degree course. He built up a chain of electronics stores and sold them as a franchise over 35 years ago. After five years touring the world Ron decided to move to Spain with his wife and son, a place they had visited over the years, and only bought the villa they live in because it has a guitar-shaped swimming pool!.
Playing the guitar since the age of 7, he can often be seen, (and heard!) at beach bars and clubs along the length of the coast. He has always been interested in the news and constantly thrives to present his articles in an interesting and engaging way.
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