Here’s everything we know about Champion, the new BBC drama from Queenie and People Person author Candice Carty-Williams.
Back in 2019, Queenie quickly became the book that everyone on the Tube was reading. After signing a six-figure deal following a bidding war between four publishers, it was always going to be something special.
It went on to win Book of the Year at the British Book Awards, counting the likes of Stormzy, Jojo Moyes and Dolly Alderton as fans. It’s even being adapted for the screen by Channel 4. Fast forward to now and the author of that very book, Candice Carty-Williams, has not only graced us with another stellar novel but she’s also written a new drama for the BBC.
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Champion is part of a wider commission that will see books by incredible female authors getting the TV treatment, including Dolly Alderton’s Everything I Know About Love, Cash Carraway’s Skint Estate and Nikki May’s Wahala.
But Carty-Williams is releasing a completely original story, one that marks her first TV project, and it will tell the explosive story of what happens when fame collides with family.
Now, we have an intriguing sneak peek and finally know who will make up the cast of this highly anticipated drama. Here’s everything you need to know about Champion.
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What is Champion about?
Champion tells the story of what happens when fame collides with family: Bosco Champion – the golden boy of the Champion family and a UK rap sensation before he was jailed – is home from prison, and he’s ready to dominate the music industry once more.
Ever since she can remember, his younger sister Vita has been Bosco’s personal assistant, running around after him, getting him out of trouble and hiding his various misdemeanours. But when Vita’s own talent is discovered by Bosco’s rival, Bulla, she steps out of her brother’s shadow to become a performer in her own right, setting the Champion siblings against one another in their quest to reach the top spot in the charts and to be the star of the family.
Even their parents, soundman turned radio DJ Beres and 90s R&B one hit wonder Aria, can’t stop Bosco and Vita from splitting the Champion family down the middle as they go head to head in a very public and messy battle. In fact, it might be in their best interests to keep Bosco and Vita apart…
A love letter to Black British music set in south London, Champion is the celebration of a sound that has long been the beating heart of our culture.
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Speaking about the project, Carty-Williams said in a statement: “Champion is a celebration of Black music and a Black family, however fragmented that family might be. Since I knew what music was, I’ve loved grime and UK rap and neo-soul to the point of obsession, and to bring to a primetime slot a series that gives these genres of music life and texture is absolutely amazing, as is getting to work with some of the best producers making music today to create original tracks for the show.”
Who will star in Champion?
The BBC has finally revealed who will be making up the cast for this new drama. Déja J Bowens joins the cast in her exciting TV debut as Vita and stars alongside Malcolm Kamulete (Top Boy) as Bosco. Music sensation Ray BLK (also her TV debut) is also joining the cast as well as overseeing the music for the series alongside grime pioneer Ghetts.
The eight-episode musical drama also stars Nadine Marshall (Sherwood), Ray Fearon (His Dark Materials), Jo Martin (Doctor Who), Kerim Hassan (Once Upon A Time In London) and Adeyinka Akinrinade (Everything I Know About Love).
Tom Forbes (Wolf Hall), Genesis Lynea (Shadow And Bone), Karl Collins (Attack The Block), Francis Lovehall (Small Axe), Corey Weekes (Coronation Street) and Rachel Adedeji (Dreaming Whilst Black) complete the cast.
Is there a trailer for Champion?
While it’s not technically a trailer, the first-look footage below is a chance to see the cast in action. The series is currently in production, so we’re sure an official trailer will be released soon.
Watch the cast announcement trailer here:
What has been said about Champion?
Aside from all the excitement over the new cast, Carty-Williams also shared the news on her Instagram, writing: “An honour to have given life to this family and this world, and to be creating music with @therealghetts, @rayblk + very many more. This is the beginning of where we make Black history. Hold tight.”
Ray BLK also expressed a similar sentiment on Twitter and shared the new sneak peek, saying she is “very grateful” for the opportunity of starring in and executive producing the music on the new BBC series.
When will Champion be released?
While a release date is yet to be confirmed, we do know that the series is currently in production and will be landing on our screens some time in 2023. Champion will be available to watch in the UK via BBC One and BBC iPlayer and will be available to stream on Netflix across the world.
Watch this space for updates.
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