Dancing on Ice 2021: Ashley Banjo defends Rufus Hound for slating government

Dancing on Ice 2021: Ashley Banjo defends Rufus Hound for slating government

Dancing on Ice judge Ashley Banjo has stepped in to defend Rufus Hound’s comments (Picture: Matt Frost/ITV/REX)

Dancing on Ice judge Ashley Banjo has thrown his support behind Rufus Hound after he was criticised for slating the government during the first live show.

The ITV series, which began last Sunday, has been hit with 341 Ofcom complaints after Rufus made a reference to the recent free school meals scandal.

It has not yet revealed the nature of the complaints or whether an investigation will follow.

The comedian, who received the judges’ first Golden Ticket of the series, took aim at MPs who ‘don’t want to feed hungry children’.

Speaking to Metro.co.uk and other press about whether Rufus’ remarks were ‘appropriate’, Ashley began: ‘I think it’s definitely appropriate. I’ve said this before, he’s a comedian, he’s an intelligent and 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 to that and that’s how he felt. Of course, he’s allowed to say that, it’s his prerogative.

Rufus Hound Dancing on Ice

Rufus took aim at the government (Picture: Matt Frost/ITV/REX)
Ashley has thrown his support behind Rufus (Picture: ITV)

‘I was sitting there and if people agree, don’t agree with the idea that people aren’t allowed to express their opinion because the show is a “family show”, I think it’s nonsense.’

Ashley, who also faced criticism last year for Diversity’s Black Lives Matter routine on Britain’s Got Talent, went on to add: ‘I think what people are saying is that it’s a family show, and they only want opinions on the tele they agree with.

‘That’s a different thing.’

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Rufus’ comments came after he received his Golden Ticket from the judges.

‘I’ve spent most of this year not emotionally stable because the world does not make sense and this does not make more sense of it,’ he told hosts, Holly Willoughby and Phillip Schofield.

‘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.’

Despite receiving backlash from some viewers, others took to Twitter to praise the actor for calling out the government.

After the show had aired, Rufus took to Twitter to post a message to those who disagreed with his comments.

‘To the people who want to be cross with me – you were never going to be my friend,’ he penned.

‘I wish it were different, but such is the world we now live in. To everyone else, thanks for all your lovely messages. I will try to keep doing funny ice dances for you x.’

Dancing on Ice returns on Sunday at 6pm on ITV.

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