Anne Marie issues grovelling apology over Saturday Night Takeaway stunt

Anne Marie has issued an apology for her performance on Saturday Night Takeaway.

The singer took part in the End of the Show Show with hosts Ant McPartlin and Declan Donnelly, which appeared to incorporate the historical 'Rising Sun' Japanese flag.

The Geordie presenters sported an image resembling the controversial flag on bandannas across their heads – sparking huge outcry from viewers.

After facing a backlash from fans over the sketch, Anne Marie took to Twitter to 'sincerely apologise' to those who had been offended.

The pop star also said her team were speaking to ITV about taking the footage down so it didn't cause 'any more hurt.'

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

"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 went on: "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," she tweeted.

Anne Marie had appeared alongside Ant and Dec in the second Takeaway episode of the series which aired on Saturday night.

The Brit nominee performed her single Ciao Adios while the Geordie presenters larked about behind her.

As part of their costumes, Ant and Dec were seen wearing what appeared to be the rising sun symbol on bandannas on their heads.

The orange disc with sixteen rays coming off it is a renowned symbol of the military and was flown during Japan's imperialist expansion when it occupied Korea and part of China in the 19th Century.

During World War Two, the flag became the symbol of the navy and continued to gain a controversial reputation as Japanese troops occupied much of Asia and carried out atrocities on local people.

Today the flag appears on items such as clothing and product packaging and to support Japan at sporting events. However, it is still particularly offensive to those in East Asia, particularly South Korea.

Ant and Dec are yet to respond to the backlash.

After Anne Marie posted her statement, fans replied to thank her for the apology.

"I'm so glad you know about this now. love u," wrote one.

"It’s not your fault!! These things happen and it isn’t a reflection on your part, this is ITVs mess and they should be justifying it not you x" said another.

"Feel so bad for you. It isn’t your fault, all you can do is apologise. Hope you’re okay & this all blows over," said a third.

Mirror Online has contacted ITV for comment.

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