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Levi Roots

Kirsty Young interviews entrepreneur Levi Roots, whose business success began following an appearance on Dragon's Den in 2007.

Kirsty Young's castaway is the entrepreneur, Levi Roots.

His business success began following an appearance on BBC Two's Dragon's Den in 2007. With guitar in hand, he sang about his 'Reggae reggae sauce' which he had been selling for years at London's Notting Hill Carnival. Both Peter Jones and Richard Farleigh invested in the business and within six weeks, his sauce was bottled and on supermarket shelves. Recipe books, TV shows and a restaurant, or 'rastaurant' followed.

He is the youngest of five children born in Jamaica. When he was four, his parents went to build a new life in the UK. Each year one of his siblings came to join the family in Britain. When Levi was 10, he left his much loved grandmother behind, never to see her again. Unable to read or write when he started school, he caught up quickly. He became a Rastafarian as a teenager. Following school, he became an apprentice engineer but left that to pursue a career in music.

In his late twenties, he went to prison for five years. His time inside would prove to be a turning point for him. Music continued to play an important part in his life and he was nominated for a Best Reggae Act MOBO award in 1998.

A father of eight, he lives in Brixton, London.

Producer: Cathy Drysdale.

Available now

45 minutes

Music Played

Add music you love and enjoy it with My Tracks
  • Stevie Wonder

    Master Blaster (Jammin')

    • Hotter Than July.
    • Motown.
  • Bob Marley & The Wailers

    War

    • Rastaman Vibration.
    • Island.
  • CASTAWAY'S FAVOURITE

    • Dionne Warwick

      Walk On By

      • Make Way for Dionne Warwick.
      • Sequel Records.
  • Jimmy Cliff

    Many Rivers to Cross

    • Jimmy Cliff.
    • Trojan Records.
  • Aretha Franklin

    Respect

    • I Never Loved A Man The Way I Loved You.
    • Atlantic.
  • The Abyssinians

    Declaration of Rights

    • Satta Massagana.
    • Heartbeat.
  • Beyoncé

    Single Ladies (Put A Ring On It)

    • I Am… Sasha Fierce.
    • Columbia.
  • Garnett Silk

    Mama Africa

    • Garnet Silk: The Definitive Collection.
    • Atlantic.
  • BOOK CHOICE

    Long Walk To Freedom by Nelson Mandela

  • LUXURY ITEM

    A guitar

Credits

Role Contributor
Presenter Kirsty Young
Interviewed Guest Levi Roots
Producer Cathy Drysdale

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