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Lenny Henry to Present 10-Part BBC Documentary Series on the History of Black British Theatre, TV and Film

Lenny Henry to Present 10-Part BBC Documentary Series on the History of Black British Theatre, TV and Film

It’s not going to be happening on TV or on film, but it’s definitely something worth knowing about and listening to (given the valuable content/information that it will disseminate), whenever it becomes widely available. 

As of today, UK readers should be aware of actor and comedian Sir Lenny Henry’s plans to present a 10-part radio documentary on the history of black British theatre and screen. Per the press release, the series will highlight the “history and struggle of black British creativity” over the last century.

“This Radio 4 series covers a huge span of black British theatre, TV and film – from Ira Aldridge to Steve McQueen, and Nina Baden-Semper to Bola Agbaje – it’s a great sweep of history that excites and stimulates the imagination,” Sir Lenny said. “It is easy to forget that there were precedents to our current age of BAME (black, Asian and minority ethnic) breakthroughs and by talking to the likes of Roy Williams and Mustapha Matura, we acknowledge that the young reach their current heights by standing on the shoulders of those that went before.”

Titled “Raising the Bar,” the series (part of the BBC’s On Stage season) will be broadcast on BBC Radio 4 throughout November.

Trinidadian playwright Mustapha Matura, actor and playwright Kwame Kwei-Armah, and theatre director Paulette Randall are among interviewees.

As covered on this blog over the last year, Sir Lenny has been a prominent campaigner for greater ethnic diversity in the arts in the UK. He is part of BBC director general Tony Hall’s committee set up to improve diversity at the behemoth media company.

BBC On Stage will be broadcast across radio, television and online in November as a push to get people involved in the creative arts.

I hope it becomes available for those of us outside the UK. And if that happens, I’ll certainly share here.

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