Whats On

Media Watch Sunday 16th – Friday 21st August 2015


BBC Radio 4

6.05am: Something Understood – Changing the Mirror

The actor Adjoa Andoh explores our need to see our own identities reflected in the culture and environment that envelop us.

With readings from work by Jackie Kay and Aminatta Forna and music by Nina Simone, Miriam Makeba and Florence Price.

BBC World Service

11.50pm: Sporting Witness

The black American sprinter made history at the 1936 Berlin Olympics hosted in Nazi Germany. He won four gold medals, making a mockery of the Nazi ideology of Aryan supremacy. Using the BBC Archive, we look back at his remarkable career..



BBC World Service

12.06pm: The Inquiry – What Will Happen When Robots take our Jobs

Robots are coming for your job. Blue-collar jobs in industries like manufacturing have been disappearing for years but now white-collar work is under threat too. Machines are already taking roles that used tobe done by journalists, lawyers and even anaesthetists. One recent study calculated that 47% of total employment in the US is at risk of automation in the next 20 years.

So what will happen to all the human beings who did those jobs? Will we invent enough new jobs to keep them occupied? If not, how will they fill their time? And how will they earn money? The Inquiry – still made, for now, by humans – brings you answers.

Channel 5

10.55pm: Whitney & Bobby- Addicted to Love

Documentary-drama exploring the story of Whitney Houston and Bobby Brown’s relationship from 1990 through to her death in 2012. Through first-hand testimony, analysis and comment the film reveals how the pressures of fame coupled with other issues helped sow the seeds of destruction for their marriage.

The start of the millennium saw the final years of their marriage through to divorce and finally Whitney’s untimely death, followed by the recent death of their daughter Bobbi Kristina


BBC Radio 4

11.15pm: Can’t Tell Nathan Caton Nothing – About Poorly Relatives

The series is a mix of Nathan’s stand-up intercut with scenes from his family life.

Janet a.k.a. Mum – At the end of the day she just wants the best for her son. However, she’d also love to brag and show her son off to her friends, but with Nathan only telling jokes for a living it’s kind of hard to do. She loves Nathan, but she aint looking embarrassed for nobody!

Martin a.k.a. Dad – works in the construction industry and was looking forward to his son getting a degree so the two of them could work together in the same field. But now Nathan has blown that dream out of the window. Martin is clumsy and hard-headed and leaves running the house to his wife (she wouldn’t allow it to be any other way).

Shirley a.k.a. Grandma – cannot believe Nathan turned down architecture for comedy. How can her grandson go on stage and use foul language and filthy material… it’s not the good Christian way!

So with the weight of his family’s disappointment will Nathan be able to persist and follow his dreams? Or will he give in to his family’s interference?

About Poorly Relatives

Nathan Caton is unsympathetic when his parents are poorly as he has an important gig and needs to be on his A game. But he agrees not to tell Grandma that they’re poorly as she doesn’t believe in poorly.


Written by Nathan Caton and James Kettle
Additional Material by Ola and Maff Brown
Producer: Katie Tyrrell.


BBC Radio 4

1.45pm: How to have a better Brain: Sleep

Evidence-based, information-rich and full of smart tips and techniques, How To Have A Better Brain delivers a practical and optimistic guide to boosting brain power throughout our lives. Drawing on the latestneurological research into protecting and preserving cognitive function, journalist and broadcaster Sian Williams, currently studying for an MSc in Psychology, investigates the best ways to avert, and in some cases even reverse, mental deterioration.

In this episode Sian analyses the importance of sleep to brain health with Professor Angela Clow, Dr Hannah Critchlow, and neuropsychologist Dr Catherine Loveday and her mum, Scilla, a former Consultant Psychiatrist who started keeping a sleep diary to combat memory loss.


BBC Radio 4

1.45pm: How to have a better Brain: Diet

Evidence-based, information-rich and full of smart tips and techniques, How To Have A Better Brain delivers a practical and optimistic guide to boosting brain power throughout our lives. Drawing on the latestneurological research into protecting and preserving cognitive function, journalist and broadcaster Sian Williams, currently studying for an MSc in Psychology, investigates the best ways to avert, and in some cases even reverse, mental deterioration.

In this episode Sian analyses the importance of diet to brain health with Professor Barbara Sahakian, Dr Hannah Critchlow, and neuropsychologist Dr Catherine Loveday and her mum, Scilla, a former Consultant Psychiatrist who took up eating chocolate every day to combat memory loss.


Kickin It With the Kinks

When a friend asked blogger Mundia Situmbeko why she never wore her hair in its natural state, Mundia realised she didn’t know how to respond.

KICKIN’ IT WITH THE KINKS follows Mundia’s exploration of the history and established norms of afro-textured hair. We follow Mundia as she goes in search of answers. First, Mundia observes an informative discussion group by Afrocenchix. She later attends American ‘natural hair guru’ Felicia Leatherwood’s workshop and joins a heated debate at Manchester Metropolitan University’s student union.

These encounters open a dialogue on the role of history (and that of the media) in today’s perceptions of beauty and identity as well as the concept of ‘work appropriate’. As she explores the surrounding culture, Mundia learns the true extent to which women dedicate time, effort and money to styling their hair. After examining the realities of the ever-booming hair product and hair extension industries, Mundia comes to appreciate her natural beauty and waves goodbye to her weave.

KICKIN’ IT WITH THE KINKS originally began in October 2011 as a university project of Cynthia Butare’s. Having had no prior experience in filmmaking, she produced, filmed and edited the entire documentary by herself without any financial assistance whatsoever. She was elated when the documentary ended up winning a university award for best documentary. And it didn’t stop there. The first sign that KICKIN’ IT WITH THE KINKS was really something special came when the initial screening for 30 people in June 2012 quickly sold out – as did the subsequent one for 95 people at the Courthouse Doubletree Hotel’s cinema on Regent Street in London. A panel discussion followed that event, involving such remarkable women as Because I Wasn’t Worth It author Isabella Broekhuizen and Blackhair Magazine editor Keysha Davis (both of whom are interviewed in the film) as well as Sky News anchor Lukwesa Burak.

A special screening was held for the documentary’s first anniversary at the edgy Ritzy Cinema; then, the film went on to be screened at the Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge as part of the museum’s highly acclaimed Origins of the Afro Comb exhibition. The film was first screened with subtitles in June 2013 in Paris at Boucles d’Ebene. Glamorous fashion event Ethno-Tendance, with its focus on ethics, ethnicity and solidarity, specifically requested a screening of KICKIN’ IT WITH THE KINKS for its second event; then, in February 2014, the film formed part of Hamburg’s Black History Month celebrations – this time with German subtitles. There have now been 30 viewings across the UK, US, Canada, France, Belgium, Switzerland, Germany, Namibia, Nigeria, Zambia and Rwanda. With a steadily increasing global audience, the film continues to raise awareness about the complexities of hair care for women of African descent.


BBC accused of ‘abandoning’ Birmingham after removing almost all TV and radio shows from city’s production hub

The BBC has been accused of “abandoning” Birmingham by removing almost all of its television and radio shows from what was once its biggest production hub outside London.

On 12 August staff at BBC Birmingham’s Mailbox headquarters are due to stage a symbolic “silent protest” over what is seen by campaigners and media unions as a betrayal of licence fee payers in the Midlands.

The demonstration coincides with the removal from Birmingham to London’s Broadcasting House of presenter Bobby Friction’s drive time show on BBC Asian Network, a station founded in Birmingham and Leicester. The relocation is the latest in a series of setbacks for BBC Birmingham, which has been stripped of popular TV shows Coast, Countryfile and Hairy Bikers and lost prestigious BBC Radio 4 shows You and Yours, Farming Todayand Costing the Earth.

Only The Archers, the Radio 4 Great War drama Home Frontand two less prominent Asian Network shows continue to be made for the national network at the Mailbox, which opened to great fanfare in 2004 as the replacement for BBC Pebble Mill, its iconic studios in the south of Birmingham.

For 33 years, Pebble Mill, which was opened by Princess Anne as the UK’s first purpose built broadcasting centre, was a familiar location to millions of BBC viewers as the backdrop for programmes such as The Clothes Show and Pebble Mill At One. Despite the BBC’s recent strategy to move production out of the capital, Birmingham has been overlooked in favour of other cities, notably Salford, Glasgow, Bristol and Cardiff.

The BBC rejected the notion that it was turning its back on the second city and said Birmingham had been chosen to host its centre of excellence for skills and training. It will also be home to the BBC’s Diversity Unit.

Keith Murray, BBC representative for the National Union of Journalists, said: “The Mailbox is a shell of its former self. Five years ago it was vibrant and shows were being made for BBC1 and Radio 4. Now there are studios that are unused and row upon row of empty desks. The BBC does not appear to have pride in its Birmingham operation anymore.”

Many believe that the Mailbox, a multi-purpose centre that includes a cinema and branches of Harvey Nichols and Nando’s, was an inappropriate location for the BBC to locate a broadcast production hub. Its future use by the BBC appears to be focused on training and human resources.

The BBC operates a “drama village” from the Selly Oak campus of the University of Birmingham where it makes the TV soapDoctors and period drama Father Brown. The drama Peaky Blinders – which is Birmingham-themed but filmed in Merseyside and Yorkshire – returns shortly to BBC1, while Lenny Henry’s new autobiographical show Danny and the Human Zoois being filmed in nearby Dudley.

ut the Campaign for Regional Broadcasting Midlands (CRBM) has calculated that £940m a year is contributed annually by the region’s licence fee payers and that the outlay is not being represented in the BBC’s output.

Luke Crawley, Assistant General Secretary of broadcast union Bectu, said: “Birmingham is the biggest city outside London but the BBC doesn’t seem to want to make programmes there.”

Just over 18 months ago the BBC appointed Tommy Nagra to raise the profile of BBC Birmingham. He told Birmingham City Council’s culture scrutiny committee: “It is one of the biggest frustrations for me, people think we have stopped making programmes in Birmingham. We have got a lot of work to do on that front.”

When Mr Nagra left the job a year later to return home to Manchester he told the Birmingham Post: “I think it is job done for me.” The BBC is moving its BBC Academy training unit to Birmingham and its head, Joe Godwin, has also taken Mr Nagra’s former role.

Mr Godwin said that despite recent efficiency savings the BBC was investing more in the Midlands. “The BBC is now spending twice as much in the Midlands as we were two years ago – £125m by the end of this financial year. We’re currently advertising 100 new jobs based in Birmingham as part of our plan to move 300 jobs to the city.”

Straight out of Brum


Hit BBC2 series was relocated from The Mailbox in Birmingham, first to Bristol and then to the growing production base at Cardiff.


Long-running BBC1 rural affairs show moved from The Mailbox to the highly-regarded Natural History Unit at BBC Bristol.

Farming Today

BBC Radio’s principal rural show, moved from Birmingham to Bristol.

Hairy Bikers

Also quit Birmingham for Bristol, where the BBC is also grouping food-based radio and TV shows.

The Bobby Friction Show

Drive time show on Asian Network, moved from Birmingham to the BBC’s Broadcasting House headquarters

News Uncategorized

Global radio remains stuck on one, restricted frequency

So, this week brought radio audience (RAJAR) triumph for LBC, but one thing our favourite broadcaster is not doing is Leading Britain’s Conversation on diversity, says Edward Adoo.

In this week’s RAJAR results, LBC Radio’s reach increased with record figures, yet it’s on air line-up remains stuck firmly with the same, narrow mould: middle class and white.

Various broadcasters are addressing their concerns on how to deal with making their output more inclusive with a number of pioneering initiatives with the BBC, Sky. Channel 4 and Premier Radio leading the way with key appointments in production, executive and on air teams.

Yet, Global radio – the UK’s biggest radio broadcaster and owners of LBC, XFM, Capital, Classic and Heart – have yet to announce any specific schemes to address what they will do to increase diversity across their output. Global have a lot of catching up to do.

Their brands reach out to a cross demographic in London, Birmingham and other major inner cities. Global listeners are not just middle class and white they are diverse but this is not reflective with presenters and behind the scenes with editors, production and back room staff.

The controversial rebrand of Choice FM to Capital Xtra did not work in Global’s favour with many key figures in the black community questioning their commitment to providing content for diverse audiences with Reggae, Soca and Gospel music shows axed. A loyal demographic and community were in effect pushed over the edge.

I highlighted my concerns to James Rea, news editor and LBC controller, and CEO Ashley Tabor on Twitter about the lack of BAME talent on LBC. I failed to get even a response. Nothing has been done so far to change their remit on diversity and make their output more inclusive.

When I have mentioned this to my friends they have laughed off my concerns & said “LBC is too blokey, white van drivers mainly listen. It’s not ethnic”. What does that mean? Ethnic talent can’t cut it too? Of course they can.

LBC should reflect the audience its serves. It may have been rebranded as a national network but still has a London presence with it’s a FM frequency. If BBC London and Radio 5 Live can offer a diverse output with presenters and content why can’t LBC?

This should be reflected in it’s output. I am fed up of hearing immigrant bashing by middle class White presenters on LBC. There are many high profile broadcasters who would fit the bill perfectly in fine style.

Sir Trevor Philips, Hardeep Kohli Singh, Adil Ray, Henry Bonsu, Charlene White, Jasmine Dotiwala and Claudia Liza Armah are just a few names that spring to mind.

No doubt those broadcasters would do a stern job hosting daily or weekly shows and be as good as their white counterparts, Nick Ferrari, Sheila Fogarty, Iain Dale and James O Brien. So why haven’t they and other BAME talent been given the opportunity to hosts key shows?

I am keen to find out what Global Radio have planned or to say about this. Hope they will finally follow the BBC, Sky, Channel 4 and Premier Radio’s footsteps in forming a strategic plan to increase BAME diversity across their networks. Let’s hope but wouldn’t place a bet on it.

Edward Adoo is a DJ and Broadcaster, writer on BBC Three Counties Radio Sundays 8 till 10pm and Mi-Soul Radio, Tuesdays 2 till 4pm

News Radio

Entrepreneurs: Soul man aiming to make a song and dance by taking his MiSoul radio station digital

The last time Gordon Mac was interviewed by the Evening Standard, things got a bit awkward. In the mid-Nineties he borrowed a flash, chrome Mercedes to be interviewed in to discuss his pirate radio station, Kiss, hitting the airwaves on FM for the first time.

“I went for a spin pretending it was my car, only problem was, it didn’t have an FM radio!” he says.

Two decades later, and the radio entrepreneur is at it again. This time he’s taken his new station, MiSoul, onto digital radio after three years as an online entity. He still cuts a cool figure, rasta-style, grey hair streaming behind him and an open-collared shirt. This interview takes places in the more modest surrounds of the station’s studio in the Stephen Lawrence Centre in Deptford.

He’s targeting the audience who joined Kiss on its journey “from pirate to plc”, using the same music (“anything with soul — reggae, rap, R’n’B, house”) to cater for the post-clubbing generation.

“They’re served a mix of Celine Dion, Elton John and The Whispers on a Saturday night by other stations,” bemoans Mac. “We’re looking at the generation that grew up with Kiss and Choice, not the youngsters only interested in fashion, drugs and clubs. But our listeners won’t stand for a Gold-style station. They need new stuff — we call it ‘old skool to new cool’.”

As such, the station is littered with choice cuts from the likes of Bristolian super-producer Julio Bashmore and singer/songwriter Raleigh Ritchie mixed with Janet Jackson and Lisa Stansfield. Mac has used his contacts as one of the pioneers of the London soul pirate scene to assemble a roster which boasts a cluster of London club and radio DJs with a fistful of soul credentials.

“Ronnie Herel does our drive-time show — he left 1Xtra after 10 years at the BBC but he’s got a big following who came over. We have 60 of the best in the business.”

Mac is a self-confessed creative with entrepreneurial nous and has rekindled his partnership with business partner Martin Strivens, who originally helped him build Kiss.

Mac’s musical obsession started early: his first DJ set was when he was 12.

“It was a Halloween ball at the church, the vicar had no one to play so I grabbed my family’s Dionne Warwick and Aretha Franklin records,” he laughs.

A decade later he was on the wheels of steel at Kisses, London’s biggest black-music club, alongside DJ heroes Paul “Trouble” Anderson and Steve Walsh. Mac was simultaneously shunned by JFM and began broadcasting Kiss from a squat in Carshalton. He made brand extensions his passion with a TV channel, events and even holidays carrying the Kiss name. After selling to then media giant Emap for £43 million in 1993, Mac stayed on board until 1998 when Emap wanted more control.

Having taken its music into the mainstream, Mac experienced the classic muso emotion — a hatred of sharing with too many.

“I almost wrote a book with a friend called ‘why does winning feel so shit?’ — for years we promoted it and wanted everyone to know about it, then suddenly it doesn’t feel like yours and the mainstream cheapens it.”

Mac admits he “went crazy for a while”, travelling the world in tumultuous fashion. He then ran Z Bar in Brixton for five years, but consulting for Afro-Caribbean station Colourful Radio gave him the idea for MiSoul.

In its first three years, MiSoul has grown into one of London’s foremost online radio stations, alongside Dalston’s NTS, London Fields Radio and Shoreditch Radio.

However, moving on to DAB is significant as, from next year, its audience will be assessed by the official radio monitor, Rajar, and it can woo serious advertisers. “The future is clearly listening through portable devices. It’s new technology which drew me back, but this gives us a wider audience right now,” Mac says.

He and Strivens aim to take its modest £80,000 turnover to nearly £2 million in five years’ time, when they will begin to consider selling up. Sales will be built through advertising, events (they’ve already linked up with the Margate Soul Weekend and are hosting Mi-Biza) and video content.

If you’re dancing at the Mastermind Stage as the ground shakes beneath you at Notting Hill Carnival in a few weeks’ time, glance up. A true businessman with plenty of soul will be behind the decks.


Founded: July 2012

Staff: 6

Turnover: £80,000

Business idol: Our chairman Sir Robin Miller — a motorbike and angling enthusiast who built Emap by understanding you can build on a niche.


New TV Channel To Show ‘Positive Side Of The Caribbean’

CELEBRITIES TURNED out in full force to celebrate the launch of brand new London-based ‘Caribbean inspired’ TV channel, 1HEART TV.

Capital XTRA presenter Jade Avia, MOBO award-winning saxophonist Yolanda Brown, Jamaica Tourist Board managing director Elizabeth Fox and Jamaica’s High Commissioner Her Excellency Mrs. Aloun Ndombet-Assamba lent their support to the event on Wednesday night (July 22).

“I’m pleased to see that this idea of sharing a positive side of the Caribbean with the world is growing,” Jamaica’s High Commissioner Her Excellency Mrs. Aloun Ndombet-Assamba said of the new venture. “I’m looking forward to seeing us on television here in the UK in a way that some people may not realise or understand. We can’t wait on people to tell our stories so we should tell them ourselves.”

Patrick Campbell of 1HEART TV led event proceedings and shared the grand vision for the channel and promised “somebody, somewhere, is going to build a global £100 million company, that reaches a 100 million people, based on celebrating the Caribbean.”

“I truly believe that 1HEART could be that company. At 1HEART TV we believe in the ‘4 Cs’. We Create, Curate, Connect and spark Conversation. This is the driving force behind what we do and where we do it is simply on TV, Online, Social and Digital,” he added.

During the launch event, guests indulged in a selection of tasty bites from the likes of Port Royal Patties, The Kings Room Catering and cakes from Cakes by Kels. Guests were also provided with exotic Caribbean beach cocktails from Ravissant Drinks and Dub Jam.

OH TV Station Director Vidal Juba and OH TV CEO Akin Salami also gave guests a warm welcome and insight into the partnership between 1HEART TV, OH TV and UN1TY.

Guests were introduced to British Comedienne Angie Le Mar, host of 1HEART TV’s flagship show Home Sweet Home Jamaica…with Angie Le Mar and 1HEART LIVE presenter Leah Charles. Together they presented exciting teasers and a sneak peak into the content coming soon to 1HEART TV.

The evening featured entertainment from Britain’s Got Talent series 7 semi-finalists Gospel Singers Incognito, followed by a mini carnival display from the Elimu Mas Band.

1HEART TV will broadcast via OH TV Sky Channel 199 and the UN1TY App next Tuesday (July 28) from 7.30pm to 10pm.