DANCING on Ice judge Ashley Banjo has defended Rufus Hound after he got backlash for making a political dig on the show.
The new ITV series was hit with hundreds of Ofcom complaints over the comic’s comment, which Ashley has dismissed as “nonsense”.
Ashley Banjo has backed Rufus HoundCredit: Rex Features
Rufus sparked fury when he was handed a golden ticket after being saved from the public vote by the judges. He said: “We live in a world where the people we elect don’t want to feed hungry kids, so this is the least mad thing that has happened in a long time.”
The star was referencing recent fury after the Government’s “£30 food parcels” for children who receive free school meals were exposed as being wholly inadequate on social media last week.
Responding to disgruntled viewers who slammed Rufus for bringing politics into their Sunday evening viewing, Ashley said: “It was absolutely appropriate.
“He is a comedian, an emotional man who takes cues from the real world around him to form an opinion. That’s what we all do.
Rufus won the golden ticket to bypass the public voteCredit: Rex Features
“He said something in response to the way he felt and of course he’s allowed to say it. That is his prerogative.
“If people do or don’t agree, the idea that people can’t express their opinion because the show is a ‘family’ show, I think is nonsense.
“I think what people are saying by ‘family’ show is that they only want opinions on TV that they agree with, that’s a different thing.
“I didn’t reach out to him for support because I didn’t need to.
“Rufus isn’t in need of support. He knows what he said and that was his opinion. He is absolutely fine.”
Rufus’ words sparked outrage at the time, with fans flocking to Twitter to slam the comic for making the family show “political”.
The official TV regulator has revealed the number of complaints that have poured in.
A rep for Ofcom told us: “Most of the 341 complaints were about Rufus Hound’s comments about the Government.