Comedian Hardeep Singh Kohli ditches Fringe shows for Big Brother

Hardeep Singh Kohli
Hardeep Singh Kohli
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Scottish TV presenter and comedian Hardeep Singh Kohli has cancelled his string of Fringe performances to appear on Channel 5’s reality show Celebrity Big Brother

It was revealed that the Sikh broadcaster, who hails from Glasgow, would be entering the house just hours before the show was screened at 9pm on Thursday night.

The former One Show presenter was due to continue his one-man comedy show You-topia at the Assembly George Square Studios until the end of August.

Telling fans of his decision to pull out of his Fringe performances on Twitter, he wrote: “Sincere apologies for the cancellation of the rest of my fringe run. A last minute TV project came up. My profound thanks to @AssemblyFest for yet again being frightful hosts. And much love to those that gave me their hour. Love love.”

Fans who replied to his tweet wished him well on his new venture while expressing disappointment that they would miss his show. It is not clear if organisers will reimburse pre-booked tickets for the one-hour show.

Channel 5 bosses bagged Mr Kohli, 49, as their mystery 14th housemate joining the celebrity line-up that includes former Cheers star Kirstie Alley.

Born in London before moving north of the border to Glasgow with his family when he was four, Mr Kohli is the older brother of Still Game star Sanjeev Kohli, who plays shopkeeper Navid.

In 2009, Mr Kohli was suspended from the One Show after “stepping over the mark” with a female researcher. He was removed from the weekday evening programme for six months while the BBC investigated the claims. Mr Kohli said at the time that he had apologised “unreservedly” after being hauled before bosses.

He said: “Nobody has accused me of sexual harassment. I recognise I over-stepped the mark and have apologised unreservedly.”

A BBC spokeswoman said: “Producers of The One Show received a complaint regarding Hardeep’s behaviour towards a production colleague.

“She made no formal complaint and has acknowledged that One Show management took the issue extremely seriously. He was reprimanded and immediately apologised. He agreed to take some time away from the show to reflect on his behaviour.“

Mr Kohli has regularly written for publications including Scotland on Sunday and the Guardian and has worked extensively on radio. His other TV credits include directing the BAFTA-winning children’s TV show It’ll Never Work, as well as writing, directing and starring in Meet the Magoons. He was on the first ever series of Celebrity Masterchef on the BBC in 2006 where he reached the final.

Mr Kohli, who has been a Fringe regular for the last ten years told the Scotsman in March: “I want to make people laugh but I also want to make them think, to reflect and to consider.”