Black Is The New Black

Confirmed for BBC Two on 9 November at 10pm to 10.30pm

Ep 1/4

Wednesday 9 November



A selection of exceptional figures drawn from the world of politics, business, culture, religion and science face the camera and share their experiences of being black and British. Beautifully shot by artist and director Simon Frederick, the line-up of influential individuals reveal their heartfelt stories and unfiltered opinions to paint a unique portrait of modern Britain’s past, present and future.

Conceptually unique, Black Is The New Black relies solely on the words spoken by the line-up of distinguished individuals. With no archive or voiceover, their voices resonate with emotion across a wide range of subjects.

In this first episode, the focus is on arriving and growing up in Britain. This distinguished cast, which includes Naomi Campbell, Sir Trevor McDonald, Thandie Newton, musicians Jazzie B of Soul II Soul and Dizzee Rascal and footballer Les Ferdinand, all tell of how they or their parents came to the UK with an attitude of respect, almost awe of their new home - regarded as the mother country - Great Britain.

What they encountered was a whole raft of new experiences: heavy overcoats, smoking chimneys and outright racism, including appalling violence. The programme is a tribute to the dedication of immigrant parents who, with a mixture of pushiness, high expectations, love and firm discipline, helped their children to work hard at school and eventually overcome the challenges of being black in Britain - decades before multiculturalism.

By giving a voice to a group of people who collectively illuminate the highs and lows of this small island’s turbulent history, this series is an open and honest conversation about British identity in the 21st Century.

Contributors across this four-part series include: Naomi Campbell, Malorie Blackman, Lenny Henry, Trevor McDonald, Reggie Yates, David Harewood, Thandie Newton, Baroness Patricia Scotland, John Sentamu - Archbishop of York, Ozwald Boateng, Alesha Dixon and Tinie Tempah amongst others.

Pictured: Simon Frederick (Image Credit - Simon Frederick)