DOI judge Ashley Banjo defends Rufus Hounds absolutely appropriate free school meals comments – Daily Mail

Ashley Banjo has defended Rufus Hound’s ‘absolutely appropriate’ comments about free school meals after his remarks sparked 341 Ofcom complaints.

The Dancing On Ice judge, 32, believes the comedian showed his ‘intelligence and emotion’ with his reaction, and said it’s only natural for him to ‘take cues from the real world.’

Ashley added: ‘The idea people aren’t allowed to express their opinion because the show is a ‘family show’ I think is nonsense.’

On Sunday’s show, Rufus took aim at the government’s stance on free school meals and said his video game-inspired performance was the ‘least mad thing that has happened in a long time.’ 

'That's his prerogative': Ashley Banjo has defended Rufus Hound's 'absolutely appropriate' comments about free school meals  after the comedian's remarks sparked 341 Ofcom complaints

'That's his prerogative': Ashley Banjo has defended Rufus Hound's 'absolutely appropriate' comments about free school meals  after the comedian's remarks sparked 341 Ofcom complaints

‘That’s his prerogative’: Ashley Banjo has defended Rufus Hound’s ‘absolutely appropriate’ comments about free school meals – after his remarks sparked 341 Ofcom complaints

Ashley said: ‘I think it is absolutely appropriate. He is a comedian and an intelligent, emotional man who takes cues from the real world around him to formulate an opinion, that’s what we all do.

‘He said something in response and that was the way he felt. Of course he’s allowed to say it, that’s his prerogative.

‘If people agree, don’t agree, the idea people aren’t allowed to express their opinion because the show is a ‘family show’ I think is nonsense.

‘I think people are saying it’s a family show and they only want opinions on TV that they agree with, that’s a different thing.’

'That's his prerogative': The Dancing On Ice judge believes Rufus showed his 'intelligence and emotion' with his reaction, and it's only natural for him to 'take cues from the real world'

'That's his prerogative': The Dancing On Ice judge believes Rufus showed his 'intelligence and emotion' with his reaction, and it's only natural for him to 'take cues from the real world'

‘That’s his prerogative’: The Dancing On Ice judge believes Rufus showed his ‘intelligence and emotion’ with his reaction, and it’s only natural for him to ‘take cues from the real world’ 

During Sunday’s live show, Rufus said: ‘I’ve spent most of this year not being emotionally stable because the world stopped making sense and this does not make more sense of it. 

‘We live in a world where the people we elect don’t want to feed hungry children, this is the least mad thing that has happened to me in a long time.’

Ofcom has since received 341 complaints about last weekend’s episode, with the majority made about Rufus. 

Following pressure from a campaign spearheaded by footballer Marcus Rashford, 23, last year, the Government reversed its decision not to extend the children’s food voucher scheme into the summer holidays. 

'The world stopped making sense': Rufus took aim at the government's stance on free school meals and said his performance was the 'least mad thing that has happened in a long time'

'The world stopped making sense': Rufus took aim at the government's stance on free school meals and said his performance was the 'least mad thing that has happened in a long time'

‘The world stopped making sense’: Rufus took aim at the government’s stance on free school meals and said his performance was the ‘least mad thing that has happened in a long time’

Ashley sympathises with Rufus after his own performance with dance group Diversity became the most complained about TV moment of 2020. 

The Britain’s Got Talent routine, which was inspired by the events of last year, sparked more than 31,000 Ofcom complaints, with over 25,000 criticising the performance for referencing the Black Lives Matter movement. 

Ofcom dismissed the complaints and said the dance was ‘artistic’ and the central message was a call for ‘social cohesion and unity.’

Speaking about the dance last year, Ashley said: ‘Trust me. I’m right in the centre of it. The negativity is the minority.

‘We stand by every single decision we made with that performance.’ 

'Artistic': Ashley sympathises with Rufus after his own performance with dance group Diversity became the most complained about TV moment of 2020

'Artistic': Ashley sympathises with Rufus after his own performance with dance group Diversity became the most complained about TV moment of 2020

‘Artistic’: Ashley sympathises with Rufus after his own performance with dance group Diversity became the most complained about TV moment of 2020 

On Sunday, Rufus was also awarded the show’s first golden ticket despite not achieving the highest score for his performance with partner, Robin Johnstone.

Rapper Lady Leshurr, 32, found herself in the skate off after being praised by the judges for putting on an entertaining show, causing some outcry from fans on Twitter that the result was unjust.

Judges Ashley and John Barrowman are in disagreement with the voting public at home, as they believe Lady Leshurr performed one of the strongest skates of the night.

Ashley said: ‘Look, lets be honest, it obviously wasn’t to everybody’s taste.

Skate off: Judges Ashley and John Barrowman are in disagreement with the voting public at home, as they believe rapper Lady Leshurr performed one of the strongest skates of the night

Skate off: Judges Ashley and John Barrowman are in disagreement with the voting public at home, as they believe rapper Lady Leshurr performed one of the strongest skates of the night

Skate off: Judges Ashley and John Barrowman are in disagreement with the voting public at home, as they believe rapper Lady Leshurr performed one of the strongest skates of the night 

‘She definitely wasn’t the worst skater on the night and in terms of performance and general entertainment factor she was up there in the top, if not the top.

‘The fact she is in the skate off now, you can take from that what you will in terms of what it says about the vote but I do not think she deserves to be in the bottom two, in my opinion.’   

John added: ‘Lady Leshurr is something that is completely – we’ve never had a rapper on Dancing On Ice, it’s something different and people have never seen it before.

‘She rapped, she skated, it was interesting, it was awesome and if people are moaning about it it’s just unfortunate we had so many skaters at a certain level and she ended up in the bottom two because there weren’t enough votes.’

  • Dancing On Ice, Sundays at 6pm on ITV 

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