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Top Boy: What did you think?

TALENT: (L-R) Malcolm Kamulete, Ashley Walters, and Kane Robinson

OK SO I'VE ranted about the issue of black British TV dramas both in The Voice and with friends and colleagues. Honestly, I find the matter exhausting.

In short, my feeling is that it’s about time programme controllers make room for TV content that reflects another side to black Britain; not just the typical stories of wayward yout’s living on inner city council estates, getting caught up in drug culture or gang violence.

Case in point, this week’s much-talked-about drama series Top Boy. The final episode of the Channel 4 drama airs tonight (November 3) and, unsurprisingly, the four-part drama – which focused (in part) on the lives of youngsters from an east London council estate who make a living through drug dealing – has caused quite a stir.

Honestly, I’m happy to see talented actors like Ashley Walters, Kane Robinson and the young Malcolm Kamulete (who all star in the drama) in work. And actually, from what I’ve seen so far, I’m pretty impressed with the drama.

My gripe isn’t with Top Boy, nor is it ever with the actors or even the writers/producers who star in/produce these types of gritty urban dramas. My issue is with the TV commissioners who, it would appear, have tunnel vision when it comes to representing black youngsters on our screens.

No, we don’t want dramas that offer corny or unrealistic representations of black life. But surely we deserve to see more than just street life?

Here’s what a few Voice readers had to say about Top Boy on our Facebook page:

Paul Woodward:“More of same old boring negative stereotypes, they have no creativity at all!

Natalie Benjamin: “I wasn’t too sure, it certainly didn't grip me, but I want to watch it tonight before I come to a conclusion.”

Michelle Prendergast: “What, could they not find a film of black people that do not smoke weed [or] sell crack? Come on. I was so sad, but I am going to finish watching it.

Ebbi Elridge: What I saw accurately portrayed that type of lifestyle... A sad but true reflection of the lives of too many of my peers.

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