Ken Morley has apologised ‘unreservedly’ after viewers complained about his behaviour on Celebrity Big Brother.
The former Coronation Street star repeatedly clashed with his housemates and was evicted from the show for using ‘unacceptable language’ including repeated use of the word ‘negro’.
He told ITV’s Loose Women he had used ‘an outdated expression’, but denied he was racist.
The actor said: “I apologise unreservedly to everybody who watched that programme.”
Morley told the show: “It was banter in an odd situation, but I understand entirely I’ve upset a lot of people.”
The star said the show had been ‘edited’ so viewers had not seen everything and defended his housemate, Jeremy Jackson, who was also kicked off the show after former Page Three girl Chloe Goodman, 21, claimed he drunkenly tried to look at her breasts while the pair were alone in the toilet.
Morley said: “He was a very nice person and he did a stupid thing.”
Jackson was given a police caution for common assault after the incident which was not shown on screen.
Hundreds of viewers have complained to watchdog Ofcom about the pair’s behaviour, with the vast majority upset by Morley.
Celebrity Big Brother has a history of causing controversy and last year’s series was the second most complained-about show of the year, with 1,874 people contacting the watchdog about it.
The only programme with a worse record was the main Big Brother series which received 3,784 complaints, many of them centred on the behaviour of its eventual winner, Helen Wood, who was accused of bullying other contestants.
Ofcom found the show breached the broadcasting code last year after it showed a pre-watershed scene where housemates swore 14 times within 50 seconds.
Big Brother’s lowest point came in 2007, while it was still on its original home of Channel 4, when around 40,000 people complained after a race row engulfed the celebrity version of the show.
The fiery verbal exchanges between Jade Goody and Bollywood star Shilpa Shetty even reached the world of politics with then-chancellor Gordon Brown forced to address the issue during a visit to India after protesters burned effigies of the show’s producers.