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U.K.'s 'Strictly Come Dancing' shaken up by dancer's use of racial slur

UPI News Service, 10/04/2009 

Professional dancer Anton Du Beke of the British TV series "Strictly Come Dancing" says he is not a racist despite calling TV star Laila Rouass a "Paki."

De Beke admitted to using the term of abuse for a Pakistani in reference to Rouass, known for her role on "Footballers' Wives," and said he has since apologized for the remark, The Sunday Telegraph reported.

"There was no racist intent whatsoever but I accept that it is a term which causes offense and I regret my use of it, which was done without thought or consideration of how others would react," De Beke said of his rehearsal gaffe.

"I apologize unreservedly for any offense my actions might have caused."

Rouass, whose father is Moroccan and mother is Indian, said she accepted her dance partner's apology and is looking forward to continuing her run on "Come Dancing."

"It was a situation which happened that we have moved on from and I accept his apology," Rouass told the Telegraph.

"I'm really enjoying the show and dancing with Anton and hope we can go as far as possible in the competition."

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Copyright 2009 by United Press International

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