'I hope everyone I have offended can find it in their hearts to forgive me' - fired Coronation Street star Marc Anwar sorry for 'moment of madness' racist tweets
Sacked Coronation Street star Marc Anwar has apologised for using "unacceptable" language about Indian people, saying that his "rant" was a "moment of madness".
The Pakistan-born actor, 45 - who plays Sharif Nazir in Corrie - was axed from the ITV soap after Coronation Street bosses were alerted to his Twitter comments.
Anwar, who joined the soap in February 2014 as a member of the first Muslim family on the cobbles, issued a video apology, hoping that people "forgive me".
"I would like to offer my sincerest apologies to anyone that I may have offended with my tweets on Friday evening and especially people from India," he said.
"This was never my intention and the language was unacceptable. I feel that I have let a lot of people down, my family, my friends and my former colleagues."
"This I... very sincerely apologise for."
He continued: "On Friday evening I saw, on the news, children being pulled out of rubble, people being pelted with pellets, women mourning their dead in Kashmir.
"This upset me very deeply and in a moment of madness I ranted out. I vented my anger.
"Again, the language that I used, I sincerely apologise for. But my feelings were very sincere for the people of Kashmir. And I hope that everyone that I have offended can find it in their hearts to forgive me."
The Sunday Mirror published screenshots of messages posted on Anwar's private Twitter account which appeared to hit out at India over Kashmir and referred to Indian people as "bastards" and "piss-drinking c***s".
An ITV spokeswoman previously said: "We are deeply shocked by the entirely unacceptable, racially offensive comments made on Twitter by Marc Anwar.
"We have talked to Marc and, as a consequence of his comments, he will not be returning to Coronation Street with immediate effect."
Soap bosses are expected to do everything they can to minimise the actor's presence in the show until his character can be written out.
Anwar has appeared in Hollywood films such as Captain Phillips and 51st State.
He later denied that he had apologised in an attempt to save his career and called his comments "stupid, stupid, stupid".
"The tweets came out and I can't take them back," he told the BBC's Asian Network. " The language leaves a lot to be desired."
The actor said that it would have been "easy" to say that his Twitter account had been hacked when he was asked about his comments by Coronation Street staff.
He said that his tweets had upset "my family, friends (and) colleagues" and that "I absolutely sincerely apologise... I can't apologise enough for the way I have hurt them."
He added: "I'm not a bigot, not a coward and not a liar. I'm definitely not a racist."
The actor refused to say whether he would return to Coronation Street if he was allowed back and said of his future: "If work doesn't come my way I won't starve".
Anwar added: "I am absolutely disgusted with myself and unreservedly, without any hesitation, apologise to anybody and everybody that has been affected."
He said that he had "gone ballistic" for a moment, that he does not know how to use Twitter or Facebook very well, and that it was "the bullet point that came through not the sentiment".
His comments were "not intended at the people of India. It was aimed at the two governments in the two countries," he added.