Britain’s Got Talent comedian told to tone down jokes about being black and Muslim by Micky Flanagan

Competition finalist said the advice given 10 years ago has affected his career

Ellie Harrison
Monday 12 October 2020 09:59
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Nabil Abdulrashid's BGT semi-final audition

Nabil Abdulrashid, a black comedian who competed on Britain’s Got Talent, has revealed he was advised to make fewer jokes about his race and religion by Micky Flanagan.

While judging the ITV4 contest FHM Stand Up Hero in 2010, Flanagan suggested that Abdulrashid talked “a little bit more about not being a Muslim, or not being black”.

Abdulrashid told Metro.co.uk: “This wasn’t even some personal advice he gave at a gig. He happily said that in a professional capacity on camera. And it made the edit!”

He added: “Speaking about my experience was part of the reason why I wasn’t allowed to advance in an actual competition. That affected my career. Even if it happened 10 years ago, it’s probably happened again and again in different comedy clubs since then. And it might still be happening now.  

“How many people have been denied an opportunity or made to work even harder simply because they were different?”

A representative for Flanagan, a comedian who is famous for his routines about being cockney, told the publication: “As a judge on a TV talent show, Micky was providing constructive feedback on a competition 10 years ago. 

"Micky is delighted for Nabil’s success in making it to the final of Britain’s Got Talent and wishes him the very best with his career in the future.”

Abdulrashid placed fourth on this year’s series of Britain’s Got Talent, behind winner Jon Courtenay and runners up Sign Along With Us and Steve Royale.

“Thanks for all the support guys,” tweeted Nabil, who made headlines for his jokes about racism on the show. “Didn’t get the ‘W’ today but don’t worry… the marathon continues. Love you all #teamnabil #nabilarmy I came to make a point and I think I did.”

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