Entertainment & Arts

ITV sorry for Benidorm's Rolf Harris references

Benidorm
Image caption The episode, originally broadcast in 2012, was pulled from the ITV+1 channel

ITV has apologised after an episode of Benidorm referencing Rolf Harris was repeated a day after the star was convicted of indecent assault.

The episode ended with Tim Healy's character Les singing Two Little Boys, which was a hit for Harris in 1969.

The repeat was followed by the ITV News, which included the latest story about Harris' offences.

An ITV statement said: "This was a repeat episode of Benidorm and we wish to apologise for this oversight."

The episode was originally broadcast in 2012. After the "oversight" was spotted, the repeat was pulled from timeshift channel ITV+1.

In one scene, Jacqueline, played by Janine Duvitski, talked about a rock star and asked: "Didn't his wife have an affair with Rolf Harris?"

'Unfortunate timing'

Writing on Twitter in posts that have since been deleted, the show's writer Derren Litten said: "Extremely unfortunate timing of a Benidorm repeat tonight. Apologies to anyone who was offended."

He also said: "An apology was appropriate as ITV went from a song made famous by Rolf Harris straight into the news with that headline."

Les' karaoke rendition of Two Little Boys was introduced as "a classic Rolf Harris number".

However, Litten added: "Also that song was not written by Harris. It was a song written in 1902 about the American civil war. First made popular by Harry Lauder."

On Monday, Harris was found guilty of indecently assaulting four girls and young women in the 1960s, '70s and '80s.

Last year, the BBC apologised after broadcasting a repeat of children's show The Tweenies featuring one of the characters dressed as Jimmy Savile.

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