Ashley Banjo has revealed he beefed up security for his wife and two children following the backlash over Diversity’s BLM-themed Britain’s Got Talent performance.
The dancer, 32, was subjected to an onslaught of online abuse following the show which received over 24,000 Ofcom complaints.
Speaking to The Mirror, Ashley told how the abuse became so bad at one point that he feared for the safety of his wife Francesca and their daughter Rose, 2, and son Micah, 14 months.
Shocking: Ashley Banjo has revealed he beefed up security for his wife and two children following the backlash over Diversity’s BLM-themed Britain’s Got Talent performance
He said: ‘After the routine there was so much negativity. At one point I think I was counting 70 to 100 tweets a minute.
‘You get abusive messages and threats – “We know where you train, we know where you live”. We had to beef up our security system, just to make everyone who was home alone feel safer.
‘When it was all kicking off my wife rang me and wanted to check how to set the alarm, what beams were where and where the keys were.’
Ofcom did not uphold complaints about the dance, saying the routine’s ‘message was a call for social cohesion and unity’.
Routine: The dancer, 32, was subjected to an onslaught of online abuse following the show which received over 24,000 Ofcom complaints (pictured on Britain’s Got Talent in September 2020)
Family: Ashley told how the abuse became so bad at one point that he feared for the safety of his wife Francesca and their daughter Rose, 2, and son Micah, 14 months
It comes after Ashley reflected on winning the Must See TV Moment of 2020 from BAFTA for Diversity’s BLM-themed dance.
Speaking to brother Jordan and fellow dancer Perri Kiely on their KISS FM Breakfast Show on Monday, the pair explained the significance winning had for them.
The dance troupe also revealed how they celebrated their big win, with Jordan and Ashley – who represented the group at the scaled-down Covid-friendly ceremony – joking about their very low-key revelry.
‘It’s closed the chapter on negativity’: Ashley revealed the impact of winning a BAFTA for BLM routine and says he celebrated with a burger before sleeping with the award
Speaking about the moment they were waiting for their category to be announced, Jordan, 28, said to Ashley that he’d never seen him like that before, noting: ‘I thought you were going to cry. You genuinely looked really scared’.
Explaining why he was so nervous heading into the awards, Ashley responded: ‘It was so much more than an award for all of us.
‘The public had a way to quantify their opinion negatively with the complaints but there wasn’t really a way to capture the positivity, to capture the love.’
Keeping it casual: The dance troupe also revealed how they celebrated their big win, with Jordan and Ashley joking about their very low-key revelry
He continued: ‘It was out there, we felt it, But last night weirdly it just felt like a way for the public to say something else. If we didn’t win it was incredible to be nominated, but that was down to the BAFTA board.
‘The win was down to the public. So if we win that, it’s how I’ll put a full stop behind this chapter for the rest of our lives.
‘It won’t be the complaints anymore it’ll be the BAFTA award-winning performance… I’m not going to remember it now cause of the negativity, I’m going to remember it cause we are BAFTA award-winners boy!’
Nerves: Explaining why he was so nervous heading into the awards, Ashley admitted, ‘It was so much more than an award for all of us’
While Ashley and Jordan were left jubilant by their win, they kept their celebrations low-key.
Jordan confessed: ‘Me and Ash left the BAFTAs, we went back to my hotel room. We ordered Five Guys and then I fell asleep. Crazy stuff.’
Ashley added that he had a panic in the morning, however, when we couldn’t find the BAFTA after falling asleep cradling it.
He confessed: ‘I did that thing, you know when you’re trying to find your phone and you don’t know where it is. I looked around and was like, there it is! The BAFTA.
‘I fell asleep on the settee and it was on the floor by the coffee table. It was a rock n roll night for me last night.’
Yum: While Ashley and Jordan were left jubilant by their win, they kept their celebrations low-key with Jordan confessing they ordered Five Guys and then fell asleep at his hotel room
The interview came after Ashley used his speech accepting the BAFTA to describe the ‘torrent of abuse’ he received after Diversity’s controversial BLM-themed dance.
The star even thanked some users for the hateful comments he received, stating it proved that ‘so much needs to change’ during last night’s ceremony branded the ‘most woke in history’ by those watching at home.
Despite the ceremony succeeding in its attempts to adhere to Covid restrictions, it wasn’t without hiccups with some guests dropping a pre-watershed expletive, and a momentous victory for Casualty plagued by technical issues.
Ashley joined his brother Jordan on the stage to accept the award for Must See TV Moment, the only prize voted by the viewing public.
Important: The 2021 British Academy Television Awards saw Diversity triumph on Sunday night, with Ashley Banjo reflecting on the ‘torrent of abuse’ he received following the dance
The pair reflected on the horrific abuse they’d received after their dance following the death of George Floyd sparked 24,000 complaints to media watchdog Ofcom.
Ashley said: ‘Being in a storm of 30,000 comments just being in a torrent of threats, that support made a difference. I want to say thank you to the people who poured that abuse online, you showed why that performance was necessary.
‘As much as there’s so many conversations and so much needs to change, this is what change looks like, I’m so thankful to all those people, for me it’s not about presenting the minority, standing here right now this represents the majority, thank you so much. Let’s keep standing up for what’s right.’
Shortlist: Diversity’s controversial Black Lives Matter routine on Britain’s Got Talent (pictured) sparked 24,000 complaints to media watchdog Ofcom
BAFTA TV Awards 2021: Winners
Save Me Too
Drama Series: Save Me Too starring Suranne Jonea and Lennie James
Paul Mescal – Normal People
Leading Actor: Paul Mescal in Normal People
Michaela Coel – I May Destroy You
Leading Actress: Michaela Coel in I May Destroy You
Malachi Kirby – Small Axe
Supporting Actor: Malachi Kirby in Small Axe
Rakie Ayola – Anthony
Supporting Actress: Rakie Ayola in Anthony
Comedy Entertainment Programme
The Big Narstie Show
Comedy Entertainment Programme: The Big Narstie Show
Female Performance In A Comedy Programme
Aimee Lou Wood – Sex Education
Female Performance In A Comedy Programme: Aimee Lou Wood in Sex Education
Male Performance In A Comedy Programme
Charlie Cooper – This Country
Male Performance In A Comedy Programme: Charlie Cooper in This Country
I May Destroy You
Mini-Series: I May Destroy You starring Michaela Coel and Weruche Opia
America’s War On Abortion (Exposure)
Current Affairs: America’s War On Abortion (Exposure)
The Great House Giveaway
Daytime The Great House Giveaway
Romesh Ranganathan – The Ranganation
Entertainment Performance Romesh Ranganathan – The Ranganation
Life & Rhymes
Entertainment Programme: Life & Rhymes
Once Upon A Time In Iraq
Factual Series: Once Upon A Time In Iraq
Long Lost Family: Born Without Trace
Features: Long Lost Family: Born Without Trace
Sky News: Inside Idlib
News Coverage: Sky News: Inside Idlib
Reality & Constructed Factual
The School That Tried To End Racism
Reality & Constructed Factual: The School That Tried To End Racism
Sitting In Limbo
Single Drama: Sitting In Limbo
Soap & Continuing Drama
Soap & Continuing Drama: Casualty
Welcome To Chechnya: The Gay Purge (Storyville)
International: Welcome To Chechnya: The Gay Purge (Storyville)
Live Event: Springwatch
Inside No. 9
Scripted Comedy: Inside No. 9
Short Form Programme
They Saw The Sun First
Short Form Programme: They Saw The Sun First
Locked In: Breaking The Silence (Storyville)
Single Documentary: Locked In: Breaking The Silence (Storyville)
Virgin Media’s Must-See Moment (Voted For By The Public)
Britain’s Got Talent – Diversity Perform A Routine Inspired By The Events Of 2020
Virgin Media’s Must-See Moment: Britain’s Got Talent – Diversity Perform A Routine Inspired By The Events Of 2020