Ant and Dec apologise for long-running sketch portraying Geordies as irritating dimwits

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As celebrities reflect on how their past work might have been insensitive to minority groups, light-entertainment legends Ant and Dec have presented their sincere apologies to the people of Newcastle for making them look like highly-strung simpletons.

Amanda Tinnock, the duo’s impresario, read a statement on behalf of Ant and Dec asking all residents of Tyneside to forgive the cruel pastiche by the pair and expressing deep sorrow for giving the impression that people from Newcastle always behaved like coked-up gibbons

It went on, “We never meant to cause offence. We share a deep affection for the people of the ‘Toon’ that began all the way back in the days of Byker Grove when we played the parts of two cheeky illiterates with a fondness for terrible music.

“Back then, our parodies were considered progressive as most people thought Newcastle was part of Scotland and that its inhabitants were mainly there to be beaten up by Michael Caine.

“We regret the pain that Newcastle’s residents must have felt as, every Saturday, the nation would gather to laugh at Geordies in dinner jackets jumping up and down like idiot children because some woman managed to sing a shit rendition of Madonna’s True Blue.”

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Ant and Dec (real names Simon and William) have also said that they would end the televised presence of their most famous characters.

“We now understand that what we thought of as a joke is part of a pattern of systemic denigration of Geordies and we will no longer be part of it.

“We will now perform only under our real names and focus on the projects we truly love, such as televising our audience-participative silent opera based on the works of Bertold Brecht.”