Entertainment

Sunday 15 September 2019

ITV commissioning editor apologises over Saudi executioner costume

Asif Zubairy appeared holding a model of a severed hand and a bloodied jacket at the party.

Asif Zubairy appeared holding a model of a severed hand and wearing a bloodied jacket (Pete Summers/PA)
Asif Zubairy appeared holding a model of a severed hand and wearing a bloodied jacket (Pete Summers/PA)

By Sherna Noah, Press Association Senior Entertainment Correspondent

An ITV commissioning editor has apologised after he dressed as an executioner at a Halloween bash following the death of a Saudi journalist.

Asif Zubairy, part of ITV’s entertainment team, appeared holding a model of a severed hand and wearing a bloodied jacket at the party, held by chat show host Jonathan Ross.

He was spotted at the event, whose guests also included Shirley Ballas, Jimmy Carr and Keith Lemon, after details emerged of the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi at the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul.

Zubairy, who also wore a red chequered headscarf, later apologised, telling the Daily Mail: “I’m a private individual who attended a private party.

“I realise my Halloween costume may have offended some people, for which I apologise.”

Sir Alistair Graham, former chairman of the Committee on Standards in Public Life, told the newspaper: “I’m shocked such a senior person showed such appalling taste….

“ITV must be shocked about the damage to their reputation that such a senior person has behaved in such an inappropriate way.”

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Jamal Khashoggi was killed in Saudi Arabia’s consulate in Istanbul (Johnny Green/PA)

Saudi Arabia has faced international condemnation over the alleged murder of Mr Khashoggi, who was an outspoken critic of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

Turkish prosecutors say Mr Khashoggi was strangled as soon as he entered the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on October 2 as part of a premeditated killing.

ITV said it was not commenting.

PA Media

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