Ant and Dec: ITV removes offensive flag from latest Saturday Night Takeaway episode

It's no longer available to watch on repeat viewings following viewer outrage

Ant and Dec viewers left cringing after celebrating singer Anne-Marie's birthday on wrong day

Singer Anne-Marie has convinced ITV to remove footage from its most recent episode of Ant and Dec’s Saturday Night Takeaway after many viewers were left offended.

The martial arts sketch performed at the end of the show, alongside guest singer Anne-Marie, saw Ant McPartlin and Declan Donnelly wearing headbands featuring the Rising Star flag, which symbolises the slaughter of millions in Asia.

This flag, which is still used in Korea as a reminder of Japanese colonialism, is deemed extremely offensive.

Both ITV and Anne-Marie have been forced to apologise for the flag’s usage

“We apologise for any offence caused during the End of the Show Show by the costumes worn,” ITV said.

“This was clearly unintended and we have taken steps to re-edit that part of the episode for the Hub and for repeat broadcasts.”

Anne-Marie had promised her followers she was speaking to ITV about getting the moment removed.

“I want you to know I had nothing to do with the costumes on this sketch,” she wrote, adding: “Unfortunately, education on this part of the history wasn’t done and I am also hurt by the pain this signifies for so many people.”

It is no longer possible to see the flags when watching the episode on ITV Player.

Earlier on in the episode, fans watched on in stitches at a staged moment that saw Ant and Dec “celebrate” Anne-Marie’s birthday on the incorrect day.

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