UK 2023, 45 mins
Director: John Ogunmuyiwa

+ Q&A with Candice Carty-Williams, Déja J Bowens, Malcolm Kamulete, Ray BLK and John Ogunmuyiwa

Champion is the first TV project from Candice Carty-Williams, author of the Sunday Times bestselling novels Queenie and People Person.

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 including Ray BLK, Ghetts and more.

Sibling rivalry never sounded so epic.

About the panel

Candice Carty-Williams
Candice Carty-Williams was born in south London in 1989. She is a novelist, now showrunner, culture writer, and author of Book of the Year Award winning and Sunday Times bestselling Queenie, as well as the young adult novella Empress and Aniya, and the Sunday Times bestselling People Person. In 2016, Candice created and launched the Guardian and 4th Estate Short Story Prize for underrepresented writers, the first inclusive initiative of its kind in book publishing. Champion is Candice’s first project for TV, and Queenie is currently being adapted for Channel 4 and Disney, with Candice showrunning.

Déja J Bowens
Having recently left drama school, she is about to make her on screen debut in the hugely anticipated BBC drama Champion. Déja takes on the co-lead as Vita in the eight part series. Prior to this, Déja was on stage at the Donmar Warehouse in Marys Seacole.

Malcolm Kamulete
British rising star Malcolm Kamulete is probably best known for his role as Ra’Nell in Netflix’s much-loved thriller drama series Top Boy. Malcolm will next be seen starring as Bosco Champion in BBC’s Champion by Queenie author Candice Carty-Williams. He also starred alongside Nicholas Pinnock in critically acclaimed short film Things I Never Told My Father, written and produced by Letitia Wright and was winner of ‘Best International’ at the New York Shorts International Film Festival. He can also be seen as Rambo in Sky Studio’s Fields and in Paramount’s Ill Manors with Riz Ahmed and Ed Skrein. Malcolm is a talented rapper and has just been listed as one of The Face’s ‘stars to watch’.

Ray BLK, short for Building, Living, Knowing, is a Nigerian-born singer, songwriter, and actress and entrepreneur from South London. Ray makes her acting debut in Champion where she takes on the role of ‘Honey’ while also serving as Music Executive alongside Ghetts. Ray was the first and only unsigned artist to win BBC’s Sound of Music award. Her highly anticipated debut album, Access Denied (2021) earned Ray a No 1 album on the R&B Chart & critical acclaim from The Guardian, NME and the Evening Standard. She’s been featured in the Forbes 30 under 30, toured with Nicki Minaj, along with having her own sold out US and UK tours. Her previous collaborations also include the likes of Gorillaz, Wyclef Jean and Beenie Man, but her creative pursuits extend beyond music and acting to the beauty industry. In 2021, Ray successfully launched her own nail brand, ‘Blklisted’. She has recorded the new single ‘My Girl’ which features on the official soundtrack to Champion.

John Ogunmuyiwa
An award-winning, Nigerian-born, London-bred filmmaker whose work draws upon a constant questioning of what it means to be normal. Working out ideas, what ifs, isn’t it weirds and wouldn’t it be cools through the medium of film. Using daily observations as a base, he tends to bring a tinge of surrealism/magic into his work where he can. All with the aim of telling untold stories from a different perspective.

CHAMPION (episode 1)
Writer & Executive Producer: Candice Carty-Williams
Director: John Ogunmuyiwa
Executive Producers: Bryan Elsley, Charlie Pattinson, Dave Evans, Willow Grylls, Imogen O’Sullivan, Danielle Scott-Haughton
Producer: Joy Gharoro-Akpojotor
Casting Director: Daniel Edwards
Director of Photography: Christopher Sabogal
Production Designer: Gini Godwin
Costume Designer: Cynthia Lawrence-John
Hair & Make-Up Designer: Marcia Blackwood
Music Executives: Ray BLK, Justin Clarke aka Ghetts
Music Supervisor: Catherine Grieves
Music Advisor: Hattie Collins

Déja J Bowens (Vita)
Malcolm Kamulete (Bosco)
Nadine Marshall (Aria)
Ray Fearon (Beres)
Ray BLK (Honey)
Kerim Hassan (Memet)
Adeyinka Akinrinade (Chantelle)
Tom Forbes (Mark)
Genesis Lynea (Tayo)
Jo Martin (Dawn)
Olivia-Rose Colliard (Milan)
Karl Collins (Lennox)
Rachel Adedeji (Yemi)
Corey Weekes (Bulla)
Francis Lovehall (Laurent)
Fergus Rees (Philip)
Levi Babin (young Bosco)
Saskia Holness (young Vita)
Remi Burgz (as herself)
Faye Campbell (record label assistant)

BBC 2023
45 mins

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Programme notes and credits compiled by Sight and Sound & the BFI Documentation Unit
Notes may be edited or abridged
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