Harry Enfield has defended his use of blackface, saying he would like the opportunity to impersonate Rishi Sunak.
The veteran comedian said he had no regrets about blacking up to play Nelson Mandela, in a sketch that portrayed him as a drug dealer.
In a discussion on BBC Radio 4's Today programme, Enfield, 59, said: "I played Margaret Thatcher, John Major, Tony Blair, David Cameron – four Prime Ministers.
"If Rishi Sunak became Prime Minister I would find it difficult that I would not be allowed to play him because of the colour of his skin."
Enfield said he had blacked up several times in the past. "I played Nelson Mandela in one thing for laughs – and I did it because this thing had come round from the BBC that we couldn't do it any more.
"And so I thought, well, who is my hero? Nelson Mandela, who I had the pleasure of meeting once. And what's the stereotype of black people? At the time there were a lot of things in the paper about drugs, so I made him a drug dealer or peddler of alcopops to children and things like that, which I thought was so wrong that it was right.
"I wouldn't do it now but I don't think I regret it."
Enfield said he had also played an Indian officer in the First World War for a BBC Two history programme. "I just read a book on the Indian regiments in the First World War and I wanted to represent them, so I did a chap who talked like Zia ul-Haq, the old Pakistani dictator who was educated at Sandhurst.
"So you can judge whether they're funny or not but I definitely think there should still be a conversation about it."
Enfield debated the issue with Ava Vidal, comedian and writer. At one stage he referred to the Chocolate Coloured C–n, a character played in the 1930s by GH Elliott.
The Today programme's presenter, Nick Robinson, said some people would be offended by that term and advised Enfield not to repeat it.
Vidal said blackface was unacceptable. "You have to look at the origins of blackface: it was done for the entertainment of white people, and done promoting negative stereotypes. It normalises dehumanisation."
She added: "I'm sure you can take the mickey out of the Prime Minister without blacking up, if he was a black Prime Minister."
The pair were debating the issue after the BBC and Netflix took down old episodes of Little Britain featuring blackface characters, saying "times have changed".
Yesterday, Ant and Dec issued a public apology for impersonating black people in the undercover segment of their Saturday Night Takeaway show several years ago.
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