Writer and actor Kwame Kwei-Armah discovers how the Notting Hill Carnival was transformed from a British urban arts festival into a global phenomenon during the 1980s and 1990s - but at great personal cost to those at the heart of the organization of the event.
This was the era when the carnival-goers increased year-on-year, until numbers reached two million in 1999. The costumes and the bands also became bigger every year. Big name sponsors were persuaded to invest and the carnival looked well-positioned to becoming a fully commercial enterprise. However, although crime at the Carnival was generally low, in 1987 a man was fatally wounded. By 2000, four deaths had been linked to the event and the carnival organisation came under intense scrutiny.
Producer: Pam Fraser Solomon
A Culture Wise production for BBC Radio 4.