'Queer Eye' star Tan France is to host a new BBC documentary in which he opens up on his own experience of trying to lighten his skin.

Tan France

Tan France

The 38-year-old fashion expert grew up in a traditional South Asian family in South Yorkshire and after experiencing racial abuse when he was a child he used a skin whitening product he found in a relative's cupboard in a bid to make himself look less dark.

In upcoming programme 'Beauty And The Bleach', Tan investigates why so many people of colour feel the need to try and chance their skin tone due to prejudice or their own insecurities.

Announcing the project the BBC said in a statement: "Tan has experienced this phenomenon first-hand. When he was only nine years old he did something he has regretted ever since: he attempted to lighten his own skin with bleaching cream he found in his relative’s cupboard.

"In this one-hour film 'Beauty And The Bleach' he will face up to his own experiences in an attempt to seek answers to questions around the public perception of beauty - meeting celebrities, experts, and people affected by the issue."

Addressing his own experience of colourism, British Pakistani Tan said: "I know that sadly my story isn’t unique, and so many people around the world have felt a burning desire to lighten their skin. But now is the time to question that.

"I want to find out why colourism is still so prevalent, and why people feel the need to change their skin colour when it’s already beautiful.

"This film has the chance to show people they’re not alone, and that they can - and should - love the skin they’re in”.

And Nasfim Haque, BBC Commissioning Editor, added: “We are thrilled to bring Tan's UK TV debut to the BBC, where he will be exploring a timely issue close to his heart and one in an industry he knows so well."

The documentary will air on BBC Two and stream on BBC iPlayer with a release date to be confirmed.