Amanda Holden addresses Alesha Dixon’s BLM necklace controversy ‘She can fight her corner’

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Britain’s Got Talent judge Alesha Dixon, 41, proudly wore a gold necklace with the letters BLM on the show last week, following controversy surrounding Diversity’s performance earlier this month. Now Amanda Holden, 49, has said she didn’t realise her fellow panellist was wearing the jewellery at the time, but issued her support to the star.

I’ve always been a fierce defender of any issue like that

Amanda Holden

Amanda said: “I didn’t even realise she was wearing it!

“I was sat right next to her and was like, ‘Oh, that’s lovely! And she went ‘Look at it babe’ and I went ‘Oh, yes’.

“It took me ages… it’s me eyes you see, I’m sat a couple of metres away!”

Alesha was widely praised for her choice of jewellery during last week’s episode, but a small number of viewers contacted Ofcom to complain.

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It comes after Diversity, led by Ashley Banjo, sparked over 24,000 complaints for performing a Black Lives Matter-inspired routine.

“I feel enormously protective towards Alesha and all my friends who experience this kind of thing,” Amanda added to Huffington Post.

“And it’s not just in Black communities, it’s in gay communities and just communities where it’s not comfortable for everybody.

“I’ve always been a fierce defender of any issue like that, where people want to make change that doesn’t always sit comfortably with other people.”

Alesha is yet to address the backlash but has praised positive articles surrounding her choice of jewellery on Instagram. 

Amanda went on to say her “tough” co-star “can fight her own corner” but said she was there if she needed her support with “a mouthguard and a hot towel ready”.

Earlier this month, Ashley’s dance group Diversity performed a highly-praised set which highlighted George Floyd’s death, the Black Lives Matter movement and coronavirus pandemic.

Despite receiving over 20,000 complaints, Ofcon dismissed the complaints and released a statement saying they supported Diversity’s routine.

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They said: “We carefully considered a large number of complaints about this artistic routine, an area where freedom of expression is particularly important.

“Diversity’s performance referred to challenging and potentially controversial subjects, and in our view, its central message was a call for social cohesion and unity.

“Any depictions of violence by the performers were highly stylised and symbolic of recent global events, and there was no explicit reference to any particular political organisation – but rather a message that the lives of black people matter.”

Ashley shared the statement on his Instagram page, with 916,000 followers.

He wrote: “Creativity is always a leap of faith.

“All I did what was what felt right and I’d do it 100 times over.

“Sending love to everyone that stood by us #Diversity.”

Britain’s Got Talent continues tomorrow at 8pm on ITV.

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