The BBC has unveiled the first images of new drama Champion, the series created by Candice Carty-Williams – a co-production between Balloon Entertainment and New Pictures (part of the All3Media Group), in association with All3Media International for BBC One and Netflix.

The eight-part musical drama stars Déja J Bowens as Vita in her TV debut alongside Malcolm Kamulete (Top Boy, Ill Manors) as Bosco, with Ray BLK (also her TV debut) as Vita’s best friend Honey. Nadine Marshall (Sherwood, Small Axe) and Ray Fearon (His Dark Materials, Beauty and the Beast) appear as Bosco and Vita’s parents Aria and Beres Champion, with Jo Martin (Doctor Who, Top Boy) as Bosco’s manager Dawn.

The series also stars Kerim Hassan (Once Upon a Time in London), Adeyinka Akinrinade (Everything I Know About Love, Top Boy), Tom Forbes (Wolf Hall, Knightfall), Genesis Lynea (Shadow and Bone, Silent Witness), Karl Collins (Attack The Block, Hollyoaks), Francis Lovehall (Small Axe, Death on the Nile), Corey Weekes (Coronation Street, Doctors) and Rachel Adedeji (Dreaming Whilst Black, Hollyoaks).

Ray BLK as Honey (Image: BBC)

Ray Fearon as Beres (Image: BBC)

Champion is the much-anticipated first TV project for Candice Carty-Williams, author of The Sunday Times bestselling novels Queenie and People Person. The show tells the story of what happens when fame collides with family.

Candice Carty-Williams says: “Three years after I dreamt up Bosco and Vita Champion, this brother and sister duo, their family, their friends and their enemies, are about to hit screens across the globe, with a backdrop of all original music. Seeing the cast bring these songs and characters to life and make them their own has been thrilling, emotional and satisfying. I can’t wait for viewers to meet the Champions and fall in love with them like I have.”

Ray Fearon as Beres (Image: BBC)

Nadine Marshall as Aria (Image: BBC)

Rap sensation Bosco Champion is home from prison, and ready to dominate the music industry once more. But when his dutiful younger sister Vita’s own talent is discovered by Bosco’s rival, she steps out of her brother’s shadow to become a performer in her own right, setting the Champion siblings against one another and tearing apart the whole family in the process.

A love letter to Black British music set in south London, Champion is a celebration of a sound that has long been the beating heart of our culture. Featuring original music written and produced by some of the leading musicians this country has to offer, singer/ songwriter and BBC Music Sound Of 2017 prize winner Ray BLK serves as Music Executive alongside grime pioneer and BRIT and Mercury Prize nominated Ghetts.

Jo Martin as Dawn (Image: BBC)

The show is executive produced by Bryan Elsley, Dave Evans and Danielle Scott-Haughton for Balloon Entertainment, Charlie Pattinson, Willow Grylls and Imogen O’Sullivan for New Pictures, Candice Carty-Williams, and by Jo McClellan for the BBC, with Alice Pearse and Tom Lyons leading for Netflix.

The Producer is Joy Gharoro-Akpojotor. The first block director is John Ogunmuyiwa – with Adeyemi Michael, Christiana Ebohon-Green and Caleb Femi directing further episodes. Alongside Candice Carty-Williams, other writers include Ameir Brown, Isis Davis, Emma Dennis-Edwards and Edem Wornoo.

Champion is coming soon to BBC One and BBC iPlayer in the UK and, outside of the UK and Ireland, on Netflix across the world.


Pippa Considine

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