BGT finalist Nabil Abdulrashid was told to tone down race jokes by Micky Flanagan in 2010

Danny Thompson
·3 mins read
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Nabil Abdulrashid on Britains Got Talent (C) Syco/Thames

Britain’s Got Talent finalist Nabil Abdulrashid was told to tone down jokes relating to race by funnyman Micky Flanagan during a stand-up comedy contest in 2010.

Abdulrashid’s jokes on the ITV talent show proved popular with judges and he made it all the way to the Saturday night’s (10 October) BGT final, which was eventually won by musical comedy act Jon Courtenay.

Despite Alesha Dixon, David Walliams, Amanda Holden and Ashley Banjo liking the act, Abdulrashid’s routine proved divisive, with Ofcom receiving hundreds of complaints from viewers.

Watch: Alesha Dixon gives the golden go-ahead to comedian Nabil Abdulrashid

Read more: Ashley Banjo 'worried' about his safety in aftermath of Diversity's BGT performance

But the dad-of-two recently told how an appearance on a previous talent show led to an established comedian recommending he adapt his act.

While taking part in ITV4 contest FHM Stand Up Hero back in 2010, it was suggested to Abdulrashid by Flanagan that he would benefit more if he spoke ‘a little bit more about not being a Muslim, or not being Black.’

Talking of the comments while speaking to The Metro, Abdulrashid said: “You wouldn’t say all northern comedians ‘only talk about being northern’ so why is this okay?

Micky Flanagan performing on stage during the Teenage Cancer Trust series of charity gigs, at the Royal Albert Hall, in London.   (Photo by Yui Mok/PA Images via Getty Images)
Micky Flanagan performing on stage during the Teenage Cancer Trust series of charity gigs, at the Royal Albert Hall, in London. (Photo by Yui Mok/PA Images via Getty Images)

“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!

“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.”

Jon Courtenay's emotional song won over Ant and Dec. (ITV)
Jon Courtenay's song won over Ant and Dec. (ITV)

A spokesperson for Micky Flanagan told The Metro that the comedian “was providing constructive feedback on a competition 10 years ago” adding Flanagan “is delighted for Nabil’s success in making it to the final of Britain’s Got Talent”.

Despite Abdulrashid continually making the judges laugh, the final was eventually won by Courtenay, with choir Sign Along With Us finishing runners up and comedian and entertainer Steve Royle coming third.

Read more: Britain’s Got Talent's Nabil Abdulrashid gets death threats after semi-final performance

Speaking after winning, Courtenay said: “Just amazing, I can't believe it. Listen, thank you. You don't know how much this means.

“You have changed my life, my family's life. My mum, I can't imagine how you're coping right now. I hope you're still alive!'

The performer will receive £250,000 and a slot at the coveted Royal Variety Performance but will also receive.

Watch: Diversity’s powerful performance on Britain’s Got Talent