The show, which is currently in production for BBC One in the U.K., marks the first TV project for the award-winning Carty-Williams, who recently released her new novel, “People Person.”
The music-infused “Champion” tells the explosive story of what happens when fame collides with family. The show follows rap sensation Bosco Champion, who is home from prison, and ready to dominate the music industry. But when his dutiful younger sister 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 and tearing apart the whole family in the process.
Billed as a love letter to Black British music set in south London, “Champion” features original music written and produced by leading U.K. musicians. Ray BLK serves as music executive alongside grime pioneer and BRIT and Mercury Prize-nominated Ghetts.
The cast includes Déja J Bowens in her TV debut, Malcolm Kamulete (“Top Boy”), music sensation Ray BLK (also her TV debut), Nadine Marshall (“Sherwood”), Ray Fearon (“His Dark Materials”) and Jo Martin (“Doctor Who”).
The 8 x 45’ musical drama also stars Kerim Hassan (“Once Upon a Time in London”), 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”).
Carty-Williams said: “‘Champion’ is a celebration of Black music and of a Black family, however fragmented that family might be, and I can’t wait for the world to see their story. Since I knew what music was, I’ve loved grime and U.K. rap and neo-soul, to the point of obsession, and to bring to BBC One and iPlayer in the U.K. and Netflix globally a series that gives these genres of music life and texture is my dream, as is working with some of the best producers and songwriters making music today to create original tracks for the show.”
“Champion” is a co-production between Balloon Entertainment and All3Media-backed New Pictures in association with All3Media International for BBC One and Netflix. 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; Carty-Williams; and Jo McClellan for the BBC, with Nawfal Faizullah as commissioning executive.
The series is a co-production for the BBC and Netflix. It was commissioned for the BBC by outgoing drama boss Piers Wenger, with Alice Pearse and Tom Lyons leading for Netflix.
Producer is Joy Gharoro-Akpojotor and first block director is John Ogunmuyiwa. Adeyemi Michael and Christiana Ebohon-Green will direct the second and third block. Alongside Candice Carty-Williams, other writers include Ameir Brown, Isis Davis, Emma Dennis-Edwards and Edem Wornoo.