Interview with Ray Fearon who plays Beres Champion in Champion
PHOTO: Ray Fearon as Beres (Image: BBC/New Pictures Ltd/William Richards)
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What can you tell us about your character and how he sits in the family unit?
I am the father, Beres. He came from the Caribbean, Jamaica in the mid-80s, and has been here for a number of years. He is sort of the manager of Bosco, Beres’ son. He would love to have his own record label and have his kids on it. He comes from a sound system family, his father owned a big sound system in Jamaica and he came here with the sound system. He runs a radio station which plays reggae music, which he owns. He basically wants to be an entrepreneur and a sort of big time record producer or mogul. He thinks he is anyways…
What would you say the story is about?
I’d say it’s a domestic drama about a family of musicians. Beres’ son is a British rap artist and Beres’ daughter becomes, or is a really good R&B singer.
But the main story is seen through this family’s eyes - the relationship between father and son, mother and daughter, father and daughter, father and ex-wife. It revolves around the Champion family but there are other great characters that come off it.
What have you enjoyed the most about this project?
I suppose I have enjoyed most the fact that I am playing a person that is close to my culture, my mother and father are from Jamaica. I very rarely play any of those characters. I really enjoyed Candice’s writing and working with all the actors. You can work with all black casts in things, but very rarely on telly. This is the first time for me that that has happened.
What I like about it as well is that behind the camera there has been black cameramen, sound, audio directors. It’s great to see a vast amount of people of colour working behind and in front of the camera at the same time. I have been in this business for a long time and I’ve never seen this. Actually, this is the first production that I worked with a black cameraman. I have worked with a couple of black directors but cameramen and sound - it has been great.
Who are your top five goats in music?
Miles Davis, John Coltrane, Marvin Gaye, Bob Marley and Prince.
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.
The BBC has announced that Champion, the debut drama by Candice Carty-Williams will launch on Saturday 1 July at 9:15pm on BBC One, with all episodes then available immediately on BBC iPlayer.
Source BBC One
June 28, 2023 3:00am ET by BBC One