Former Family Fortunes presenter Les Dennis, 67, has shared his upset after discovering that social media users have been criticising his conversations with a black family on the programme. The star, who hosted the ITV show from 1987 until 2002, insisted that he took pride in the diverse range of families who were guests on the game show and was horrified to find out that he had been branded racist on YouTube.
It comes after some social media users claimed Les mocked the Brown family, who are all black, during one episode of the programme.
One upload to the video sharing platform is entitled “Racist Family Fortunes” and has been viewed almost 50,000 times.
Les hit back at the claims, declaring about the episode: “I was very proud that at that time – I think it was (race equality expert) Trevor Phillips that said it – we were the most diverse game show on television and we really had that mixture of families from the fantastic multicultural UK that we have.”
He revealed to the Behind the Scenes with Colin Edmonds podcast: “Something that has made me very upset, on YouTube there’s an episode that says ‘Racist Family Fortunes’, somebody has posted it and people are looking at it.
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Les Dennis hosted the ITV show from 1987 until 2002
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“When you look at it, it’s because the family were called the Brown Family and it is suggested that we were being racist and we picked that family to have a joke and of course it wasn’t that and I think whoever posted that I hope he can sleep at night.”
It comes after Les spoke out about ITV’s remake of Family Fortunes, which is hosted by This Morning chef Gino D’Acampo.
The presenter argued that the questions asked on the programme are far too similar and believes the show now goes on too long.
During Les’ time on Family Fortunes, ITV transmitted the show for half an hour, whereas the recent remake is on the air for an hour.
Les said he took pride in the diverse range of families on the show
Gino D’Acampo is now hosting Family Fortunes
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Les still boasts the most successful viewing figures for Family Fortunes.
He told The Sun: “It’s a different show now, it runs an hour, we were only half an hour.
“I think that it’s quite long at an hour. I think to keep on it needs to be tighter.
“ITV haven’t served Gino well there.”
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He added: “All of us would go into the office at 10 in the morning and have a question meeting.
“That was so that we didn’t go, ‘Oh that question has a similar answer to that next one and it’s also a similar kind of subject’.”
However, although Les isn’t a fan of the format of the remake, he has praised Gino as the new host.
While appearing on Loose Women, he said: “I think Gino does a really, really good job.
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“People will say to me, ‘Les, why don’t you go back?’ I mean, that would be like Adam West asking to be Batman again.
“I think he does it in his Gino way, and it’s terrific.”
Speaking about news that the Saturday night classic would be returning, Gino said in an announcement: “I am delighted that ITV asked me to be the host that is bringing back Family Fortunes to the British public, following in the footsteps of some legendary presenters.
“It’s a much-beloved show in the USA, and around the world, and I cannot wait to get going and add more laughs to this format.”
Read More: Hollywood News