BBC Factual is to follow chef and rapper Big Zuu on a pilgrimage to Mecca in a new show for BBC2 produced by Acme TV.

Zuu embarks on the pilgrimage of Umrah during Ramadan, the holiest month for Muslims, on a journey he hopes will allow him to connect more deeply with his faith.

Big Zuu has Islam in his heritage on both sides of his family with a mum from Sierra Leone and a Lebanese dad, “but as a young man born and raised in London, sticking to strict interpretations of the rules hasn’t always been easy. Having grown up blending the traditions of multiple cultures, he may not have been raised praying five times a day, but devotion to Islam has always been very important to him.”

Big Zuu says: “My faith has always been a huge part of my core identity, so travelling to Mecca to perform Umrah is a humbling and life-changing experience that I will cherish for years to come.

“I wanted to make this film to show that being a modern Muslim man doesn’t always look the same for everyone and that there is no one way to be a Muslim. My hope is it inspires Muslims and non-Muslims alike to learn more about our beautiful religion and to start conversations about the importance of faith, whatever you believe in.”

Daisy Scalchi, Head of Religion and Ethics, says: “We’re so pleased to be able to follow Big Zuu on his pilgrimage to Mecca. Zuu’s devotion to his faith plays a large role in his life so the story of personal spiritual journey is an important one to tell.”

Jaimie D’Cruz, Creative Director at Acme TV, says: “Being taken on a journey to the heart of this global faith by such an exciting pop culture icon as Big Zuu feels like a real treat as well as a fun and nuanced exploration of what it means to be a young Muslim in modern Britain.”

Big Zuu Goes To Mecca is a 1×60 minute programme for BBC Two and iPlayer, commissioned by Daisy Scalchi, Head of Religion and Ethics within the Specialist Factual department headed up by Jack Bootle, and executive produced by Jaimie D’Cruz, Creative Director at Acme TV.

Jon Creamer

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