Anne Marie forced to issue apology after Ant and Dec’s Saturday Night Takeaway performance causes offence

Pop star Anne Marie has apologised to her fans for any offence caused during her performance on Saturday Night Takeaway where she performed her new track Ciao Adios.

As is customary for stars who perform in the 'End of the Show Show' presenters Ant and Dec often get them to take part in a skit or routine while they sing, which she did, but received backlash when the hosts sported karate costumes adorned with the Rising Sun emblem.

It's the second controversy the show has been embroiled in since its return to air after last week viewers sent complaints to Ofcom about the raunchy performance of the Pussycat Dolls.

The historical Japanese flag symbol caused outcry among viewers which was seen on Ant and Dec's costumes, leading Anne Marie and ITV to apologise.

The emblem was adopted as the symbol of the Imperial Japanese Navy in 19th century and there have been calls to ban ahead of the Tokyo Olympics as it promotes Japan's imperial past and is offensive to those in South Korea.

In her statement Anne-Marie wrote: "I sincerely apologise to all those who were affected and hurt by my appearance last night on a UK TV.

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"I want you to know that I had nothing to do with the costumes on this sketch. Unfortunately education on this part of the history wasn't done and I am also hurt by the pain this signifies for so many people."

She continued in the post: "I am truly sorry and I promise you that this will not happen again.

"Our team is talking to the TV station, working on taking down the footage so that it does not cause any more pain."

ITV also said in a statement to the Mail Online: "We apologise for any offence caused during the End of the Show Show by the costumes worn. This was clearly unintended and we have taken steps to re-edit that part of the episode for the Hub and for repeat broadcasts."

The episode currently on the ITV Hub no longer features Anne Marie's performance.

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The Rising Sun flag – which depicts an orange disc with 16 rays – still remains offensive to people in parts of East Asia.

During World War Two the flag came to symbolise the navy where Japanese troops occupied much of Asia and carried out atrocities on local people.

During the launch episode of Saturday Night Takeaway, the first after the show took a break after Ant McPartlin was arrested for drink-driving, the lads performed a skit alongside the Pussycat Dolls as they pretended to censor their routine.

Nicole Scherzinger, 41, Ashley Roberts, 38, Kimberly Wyatt, 37, Carmit Bachar, 45, and Jessica Sutta, 37, mocked those who called a previous performance a “strip show” with the help of Ant and Dec.

While their “censored” act was met with praise by amused viewers, some are reported to have gone to TV regulator Ofcom to complain about their appearance on the show. Around 68 complaints have been received by the broadcasting regulator, according to The Sun Online.

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