BBC Sounds Audio Lab releases next three podcasts


BBC Sounds

Colouring In Britain imagines what Tommy’s secondary school history lessons could have been if black history was taught across the other 11 months of the year, while Who was Michael X? tells the fascinating story of the game-changing black activist rarely discussed today, and The Reset explores innovative ways of healing the body and mind through inspiring stories and honest reflections.

Khaliq Meer, Audio Lab Commissioning Executive, says: “It’s thrilling to present the next three Audio Lab titles as part of our first-year projects. Hamza, Jade and Tommy have left no stone unturned, digging deep into their personal lives and experiences to produce little heard stories and fresh perspectives in new and imaginative audio. I hope listeners find these programmes and documentaries as moving and exhilarating as we have.

"Facilitating six passionate audio creators to produce super-ambitious ideas whilst learning ‘how to’ on the job has been a huge team effort. I’m incredibly proud of what we’ve achieved together and love the fact next time someone asks our creators why they think they’re right for that new audio gig or what kind of podcasts they’ve made, they can point to BBC Sounds Audio Lab and say, I did that!"

Following the creator programme’s launch last month, BBC Sounds Audio Lab creators have turned their ideas into multiple episode podcasts through an immersive training programme, with mentoring and production support from BBC Audio. The Audio Lab titles come from an exciting mix of emerging talent reflecting authentic UK stories and experiences.

Colouring in Britain by Tomi Dixon

Colouring in Britain traces the incredible contributions of prolific black Britons, past and present, who helped to shape UK society today. Tomi visits their pivotal moments and paints new historical pictures he didn’t get to do at school.

Colouring in Britain features interviews with cultural icons like Benjamin Zephaniah, who discusses his love for language, writing and reggae music as ways of connecting with Caribbean heritage, as well as issues like growing up in the UK where the threat of violent racism was prevalent.

Later in the series, Tomi tells the story of Paul Stephenson, the civil rights activist largely responsible for the creation of the first laws criminalising racism in the UK, and Princess Campbell, a campaigner from Jamaica who became Bristol’s first black psychiatric ward sister. By telling these important stories and delving deeper into our past, Colouring In Britain shows people how interconnected Britain’s history really is.

Tomi Dixon, Audio Lab creator, says: “Colouring In Britain is my way of exploring Britishness by celebrating some amazing British lives. I’m sharing stories that really connected with me and ones I think should be more widely known.

"Researching these lives was incredibly enjoyable, as well as eye opening. A real highlight was talking with people connected to those I’ve documented. These interactions reinforced how important it was to tell these stories.

"The podcast has grown so much in the months I’ve been working on it and I can definitely say it wouldn’t have happened without the support of everyone at BBC Sounds Audio Lab, my production mentors and all the people who took part.”

The Reset by Jade Scott

The Reset reflects powerful meditations on life, love and possibility. The stories we carry inside of us, the moments that have shaped us and the pieces of our lives that may be messy but make us beautifully human.

In a world that demands that we divert attention away from ourselves, Jade meets hobbyists in the places that make them feel alive - as she thinks about joy and what it means to be intentional about making space for pleasure.

Jade speaks to people like visual artist and actor Heather Agyepong, and other women of colour, about bodies and what it’s like to live inside them, and the movement practices that can support us to find freedom after difficult experiences.

Jade also meets fathers to discuss love, grief and ageing, whilst elsewhere, guests discuss love and connection in the digital age and ideas about home and belonging.

Jade Scott said: “I was inspired to create this series after going through some pretty seismic life changes. I wanted to create a space to excavate the memories and emotions that awaken as we journey through our lives, not just the pretty instagrammable stuff, but the things that we hold inside and are reluctant to name. The experiences that sit in the tension between joy and grief.

"Incubating The Reset with Audio Lab has been a real adventure. I’ve loved being able to indulge my curiosity with some amazing guests, who’ve helped me to think about some big ideas. We’ve made space to think about the history and possibility in our bodies, joy, the interior lives of black men and the complications of locating home when your identity is intersectional and more.

"It’s been a real labour of love and I hope that listeners will find something useful to take away.”

Who was Michael X? by Hamza Salmi

The fascinating and divisive story of the once famous black British activist who many haven’t heard of.

Michael ‘X’ was Britain’s most famous Black Power leader of his time. He was a friend of both the powerful and weak - and never far from scandal. His journey took him into the heart of the establishment.

A tale that starts in the Port of Spain in Trinidad and Tobago travels to Notting Hill in London, where Michael X is instrumental in organising the very first outdoor Notting Hill Carnival and became a self-styled black revolutionary and civil rights activist.

This immersive series brings a story to life replete with intrigue, defiance and murder. Through his experience, Who was Michael X? also explores the systemic remnants of the British Empire that still exists today.

Hamza Salmi said: “Michael X has captivated me for years, I was instantly drawn to the conflict and contradictions of Michael’s life. His story is characterised by murder, and scandal, my curiosity quickly led to obsession and it feels cathartic to finally put this story out for the world to hear!

The Audio Lab experience has been a wonderful whirlwind. Having constant support from the team enabled me to add dimensions to this podcast that would have previously been impossible. The team around me have always been supportive and I’m extremely grateful for their unshaking belief in me as a creator and for this opportunity.”

Colouring in Britain, The Reset and Who Was Michael X? are now available on BBC Sounds.


About BBC Sounds Audio Lab

Audio Lab is the first initiative of its kind from the BBC, providing a space for the next generation of podcasters and opening up the industry to a wider range of people by giving new audio creatives the opportunity to turn their ideas into a series for BBC Sounds.

The initiative is a paid development programme with a comprehensive package including bespoke training from the BBC Academy, mentoring and production support from BBC Audio, as well as marketing and promotion for the best ideas to help amplify unheard stories with new perspectives.

Masterclasses exploring a variety of essential podcasting skills with some of the leading voices of the audio world are available on the Audio Lab site, from How To Be A Great Interviewer and Different Ways To Tell A Story to Bringing Your Story To Life Through Sound and Tech-ing your podcasts remotely.

Source BBC Sounds

August 30, 2022 5:38am ET by Pressparty  


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