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Ashley Banjo reveals Elton John reached out for private chat after Diversity’s powerful BLM performance

Ashley Banjo
Ashley Banjo revealed Elton John reached out over Diversity’s performance (Picture: Rex)

Ashley Banjo revealed Elton John reached out for a private chat after Diversity’s powerful Black Lives Matter performance.

The dance troupe returned to the Britain’s Got Talent stage more than a decade after winning the show, for a routine inspired by the protests against police brutality, following the death of George Floyd.

While it was lauded by many viewers on social media, the scenes drew more than 31,000 Ofcom complaints, with the dancers subjected to vile racist abuse online.

Speaking to Metro.co.uk to promote his latest campaign, for eBay’s ‘eBay For Change’ project, the 31-year-old opened up about the reaction from fellow celebrities – after Meghan Markle and Prince Harry got in contact.

‘A few people reached out, actually, just to show their support,’ he began. ‘I had a really good conversation with Elton John, actually. 

‘He called me and we had a good chat, which was really nice. He was one person that just rang me from his landline, just to have a chat one afternoon. It was really needed, it was really nice to have that chat with him.

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - MAY 27: (EDITORIAL USE ONLY) Honoree Elton John accepts the iHeartRadio Icon Award onstage at the 2021 iHeartRadio Music Awards at The Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles, California, which was broadcast live on FOX on May 27, 2021. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images for iHeartMedia)
Elton was ‘exactly how we’d expect’ and we’re obsessed with this new budding friendship (Picture: Getty)

‘He was exactly how you’d expect him to be, that’s how he was on the phone.’

Diversity’s performance has racked up a nomination at this weekend’s Baftas, being tipped for the ‘must-see moment of the year’ award.

Britain’s Got Talent will be battling it out for the gong alongside EastEnders, Gogglebox and Bridgerton – with all eyes on the winner.

While Ashley is just thrilled to be able to sit in the audience for the awards on Sunday, the dancer is already thinking about what the possible response will be on social media.

Diversity's BLM performance on Britain's Got Talent
Diversity’s performance was lauded by viewers (Picture: Rex)

When asked if he was worried that their win could stir up more trolls, he said: ‘Yeah, definitely, of course. If we’re being honest, there will be a lot of people that don’t want to see us win. I’m sure a lot of people that complained won’t want to see us win the Bafta for it. 

‘Of course, it brings up again… Oh, here we go, what are people going to say? What do they have to say? 

‘I’m just excited to go, I’m excited to be nominated, to win would be incredible. But at the same time, I’m just happy with where we are, to have the recognition that it really was a big moment of the year and still have the support of people just feels amazing.

‘It’s been a year of highs and lows. And this is obviously a massive high, to get that recognition and be a dance group who came from Britain’s Got Talent over 12 years ago – to potentially then win a Bafta for a routine that you do on the same show 12 years later… It’s a pretty cool story.’

Ashley has joined forces with eBay to launch a dedicated new hub on the marketplace helping to make shopping from small businesses more accessible to users.

The eBay For Change section will help shoppers access products, and also make a positive impact at the same time.

Every purchase made will support disadvantaged communities, helping small businesses thrive and provide jobs and support to those in need.

‘Following a year that has been socially and economically testing on underprivileged communities, it’s more important than ever that we step up and act to instil change,’ he added of eBay For Change. 

‘As supporting people from disadvantaged backgrounds is something that has always been close to my heart, I am proud to be teaming up with eBay to help businesses, who have a social purpose do just that and who are making it easier than ever, for us all to get involved.’

To find out how you can support communities every time you buy, visit ebay.co.uk/ebayforchange.

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