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Our TV picks for Black History Month UK 2023

Updated: Oct 2, 2023

Dreaming Whilst Black

Dreaming Whilst Black is a British comedy series written by and starring Adjani Salmon. Originally a webcast series, an award winning television pilot (2021) developed into a series, which was broadcast on BBC Three from 24 July 2023 and is currently airing on BBC iplayer.

This hilarious comedy centres around Kwabena (Adjani Salmon) who works in recruitment but dreams of being a film maker with his video producer friend from film school Amy (Dani Mosley) and explores the specific struggles faced by Black creatives in the entertainment industry. It's a smart and incredibly funny show with some amazing scenes - 'Can I just pay for soup please' being one of our most favourite and rewatched scenes.

Black and British: A Forgotten History Streaming on BBC iplayer

Historian David Olusoga explores the enduring relationship between Britain and people whose origins lie in Africa.

The Confessions of Frannie Langton streaming on ITVX

This tv adaptation of Sara Well's period novel tells the story of Frannie Langton, a servant and former enslaved person who is accused of murdering a plantation owner and his wife. Moving from Jamaican sugar fields tot he fetid streets of Georgian London, exploring one woman's haunted fight to tell her story.

8 Bar The Evolution of Grime streaming on BBC iplayer

Storyville explores the history grime and UK rap. They called it young black kids’ punk rock - a genre that radio stations wouldn’t play and records that labels refused to sell. But grime would not be stopped. With machine-gun lyrics that shred the eardrums and syncopated electronics that pound the chest like a sledgehammer, grime was a product of social unrest, urban culture and disenfranchised youth colliding in early 2000s UK. It didn’t just rouse a grassroots audience, however. Today, grime is surging in popularity all over the globe and widely influencing the music charts. This is the story of the genre’s roots.

Champion steaming on BBC iplayer

Champion is a British musical drama television series created and written by award winning author Candice Carty-Williams for BBC One. Set in South London, it focuses on the musical rivalry between two up-and-coming musicians, siblings Bosco and Vita Champion, and the ramifications and fallout of which could drive their family apart in their quest for musical stardom.

White Nanny Black Child on Channel 5

White Nanny Black Child is a feature documentary tracing the experiences of Black Nigerian immigrants fostered by white British families between 1955 and 1995 will get its UK theatrical release and a Q&A at Ritzy Picturehouse Brixton on Sunday 1st October, before its TV premiere on Channel 5 on 3rd October 2023 at 10pm.

Riches streaming on ITVX

Riches is a British drama television series created by Abby Ajayi, and is one of it's most exciting new dramas depicting the glamorous lives of a Black cosmetics dynasty. It's a fabulous over-the-top pulpy drama that will have you glued to your screen for its six episodes.

Focusing on black talent....

Black Ops streaming on BBC iplayer

Watch the first series of Black Ops - a British television comedy series starring the multi-talented Gbemisola Ikumelo and Akemni Ndifornyen who are also co-creators, writers an executive producers. Set in East London, it focuses on Dom and Kay who are two police community support officers who join the Greater London Police and find themselves working undercover.

Rye Lane streaming on Disney+

Rye Lane is the sweet British romcom directed by Raine Allen-Miller in her feature directorial debut, from a screenplay by Nathan Bryon and Tom Melia. Set in the South London area of Peckham and Brixton, the film is titled after the real-life Rye Lane Market. It stars David Jonsson and Vivian Oparah who dazzled as two strangers who have a chance encounter, after having both been through recent breakups, and spend the day getting to know each other.

Three Little Birds streaming on ITVX

Three Little Birds is the brainchild of legendary British comedian Sir Lenny Henry who has written and produced this historical ITV drama. It narrates the adventures of gregarious sisters Leah and Chantrelle, who hail from St Anne’s district in Jamaica, and their virtuous, bible-loving acquaintance, Hosanna as they board a cruise ship heading for a new life in the 'mother country' namely the UK. This six-part series will premiere its n during Black History Month UK.

Hijack streaming on Apple TV

Idris Alba heads up this tense thriller told in real time. Hijack follows the journey of a hijacked plane as it makes its way to London over a seven-hour flight, and authorities on the ground scramble for answers.

They Cloned Tyrone streaming on Netflix

British actor John Boyega joins Teyonah Parris, and Jamie Foxx in the pulpy mystery caper They Cloned Tyrone. A series of eerie events thrusts the unlikely trio onto the trail of a nefarious government experience conspiracy.

Top Boy streaming on Netflix

Check out the final season of Top Boy on Netflix. The series is set on the fictional Summerhouse estate in the London Borough of Hackney and focuses on two drug dealers, Dushane (Ashley Walters) and Sully (Kane Robinson), along with others involved with drug dealing and gang violence in London.

The Strays streaming on Netflix

Originally released in February this British social horror The Strays explores the intersections of colourism and class. Written and directed by Nathaniel Martello-White, in his directorial debut. In the film, Neve leads an idyllic life with her family. As a socialite in her community and the deputy headmistress of a private school, Neve's privileged life begins to crumble when two strangers arrive in town.

Image Credits: BBC, Apple TV, and Netflix.

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