Jasmine’s Juice – Wizkid performs ‘Sounds From The Other Side” at London Party.

Wizkid performs at his London listening party. PIC COURTESY Paul Hampartsoumian.

At London’s east end venue The Curtain, last night, hundreds of afrobeats fans gathered for a VIP listening party for the prince of the genre – Wizkid’s new album titled ‘Sounds From The Other Side”.

Disturbin London DJ – Siobhan Bell warmed up the crowd nicely, PIC Courtesy Michael Tubi.

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PIC Courtesy Michael Tubi.

Female and male fans were dressed to impress in glamorous outfits and sharp suits to Nigeria’s finest perform a few tracks froths album past, present and future.

PIC COURTESY Paul Hampartsumian

”now i’m not saying Wizkid is performing just me but….hey Wiz can you see me behind your shades?”.
PIC COURTESY Paul Hampartsoumian.

Joining him onstage during the very hot, energetic set were the UK’s very own Skepta who Wiz stated ”without this man much wouldn’t have been possible, i thank him so much, he also mediated the get together with Drake so thank you my brother Skepta!”.


Also onstage and in the house were comedian and host Eddie Kadi whom Wiz acknowledged as well as DJ Semtex and DJ Abrantee who Wiz thanked for the support. He also thanked a missing Tim Westwood.

Capital FM’s DJ Abrantee. PIC Courtesy Michael Tubi.

PIC COURTESY Paul Hampartsoumian.

PIC Courtesy Michael Tubi.

Henessey cocktails and jollof rice boxes – with chicken and veg options – as well as donuts were distributed so the crowd went home with satisfied stomachs, taste-buds, ears and hearts.

PIC COURTESY Paul Hampartsoumian.

At the end of his set both the crowd and Wizkid were done!PIC COURTESY Paul Hampartsoumian.

Jasmine’s Juice- Naughty Boy Key-Note Speaker Music Publisher’s Association , Bugzy Malone Listening Party, First Access Entertainment Summer Party At Tramp.

July 4th is always a busy day for events. Aside from Independence Day it seems as though everyone decides this date is good for a function.

So this July 4th just one, I started at the Music Publishers Association to moderate this years keynote speech at their AGM. The key-note speaker this year was the unparalleled music genius Naughty Boy – Shahid Khan.


The 200 strong music publishing staff in the audience had a real treat as NB broke down his career from producer to artist, and then from artist to publishing label and then the future….

Naughty Boy, is an Ivor Novello and MOBO award winner, who has penned and produced tracks for the likes of Sam Smith and Emile Sandé, amongst many many others. He is described as a world-class songwriter/producer of the highest calibre.


The NB brand, has taken the music rulebook, and ripped it up, and done things every step of the way – as Sinatra said- his own way.
For those that aren’t familiar with his now legendary first big breaks, he dabbled with Bollywood songs, won £44.000 on Channel 4’s gameshow Deal or no deal, won £5000 via the Princes Trust, set up a studio shed in his parents back garden, met a girl called Emeli Sande, produced Bashy’s Black Boys hit, made ‘Diamond Rings’ with Chipmunk/and the rest is history.


His artistic success as a song-writer has been phenomenal with the likes of Beyoncé and Simon Cowell picking the phone to him and he was also one of the last people to work with George Michael.

As if thats not all impressive enough, he’s also collaborated with artists such as Rihanna, Beyoncé, Ed Sheeran, Leona Lewis, Wiz Khalifa, JLS, Cheryl Cole, Jennifer Hudson, Gabrielle, Jess Glynne, Professor Green, and Tinie Tempah.

These huge names from across the globe are calling him, fundamentally due to his songwriting and producing skills. During the interview he revealed how he and his song-writing teams work together, support each others careers, how he safeguards and promotes the interests of the writers signed to his label and how the way he works has changed as a result of that journey.

He’s what we call a modem day digital disrupter. As well as moulding his own career, he’s successfully discovered and nurtured artists with sustainable careers during turbulent times in our industry, and continues to identify the creators and artists of the future.

He has his own publishing company –NAUGHTY WORDS- and has learnt much around publishing via older mentors in the game.

A music publisher is responsible, for ensuring the songwriters and composers receive payment when their compositions are used commercially. They also secure commissions for music, and promote existing compositions to recording artists, film and television. NB shared what his biggest and worst publishing experiences have been to date.

Earlier this year he signed a worldwide deal with Downtown Music Publishing, and also established a joint venture with his publishing company, Naughty Words.

The Internet killed the music industry for a while – then a few years later squished it up and re-birthed it….with things like crowdfunded platforms to make music, and to sell it…look at the grime scene…NB revealed excitedly that the internet has certainly been his friend.

We’re in a new Internet age – music Spikes don’t come from just old skool traditional methods. This whole area is a new highway, NB discussed new ways of highlighting and bringing attention to his artists songs.

Last week a new BPI report GENERATION Z-MEET THE YOUNG MILENIALS, showed that young people are happy to pay for music…which will come as a relief to spotify!

We finished the interview with future looking fun where NB confessed he has music sound tracks for films as well as a Naughty Burger chain coming soon. ”it will be the unhealthiest burger that ever existed”. Thats naughty.

With NB’S obsession with cats- big and small- he has a gorgeous ginger cat called Barry who lives and engages with music stars in his studio and who is chauffeured on occasion for a blueberry facial at Harrods. The good life!



Then we all bundled into the car to head to Covent Gardens Relentless Studios to hear Manchester’s grime star Bugzy Malone talk us through tracks from his new album. KISSFM DJ Rude Kid moderated a chat where Bugzy told the crowd about the working conditions around his new album KING OF THE NORTH and also played us his new video for BRUCE WAYNE.


The crowd was fed by delicious caribbean food from DUB PLATES KITCHEN and then we all rolled out for the final destination for the evening….

Our last stop was as super nightclub TRAMP for the FIRST ACCESS ENTERTAINMENT summer party thrown by uber don music lady Sarah Stennett.
Stennett, whose stellar 20-year music biz career as a lawyer, A&R executive and artist manager has seen her become one of the UK’s leading executives and launch/develop the careers of artists including Ellie Goulding, Iggy Azalea, Jessie J, Zayn Malik and Rita Ora.


The party was popping before 9pm with a super cool crowd of young starlets, models, fashionistas, hip hop crowd and Soul singer Ray Black smashed it with a powerful set of her hits.
A photo booth and the best R&B DJ’S meant we were all dancing hard and having fun till the early hours.

A great day of celebrating the music industry in London town!

Jasmine’s Juice – Grime’s Magic Man – Abra Cadabra, On ”Jeremy” And Being ”Differontos”.


Congratulations on your journey so far- how’s the ride been from Tottenham, North London to national focus?

Thank you! its been a crazy journey so far and it’s all happening so fast… There is a lot more work for me to do though and I’ll keep on pushing and hopefully people continue to like what I do.

2016 saw you break through with numerous big moments from awards and viral singles, what would you say was your first big break?

Man’s first break came with me doing the Black Box Freestyle and then Krept & Konan reaching out and jumping on the remix. Its been mad since then.

Abra Cadabra | BL@CKBOX

You’re a Tottenham lad, what is it about Tottenham that breeds so many great music names?

Tottenham has a lot of talent and us younger people sometimes get forgotten about – Kush and Poppy & Legz, for example. But Tottenham has nurtured and will continue to nurture the best.

Tottenham’s also a hotbed for activism after the infamous riots and social housing communities. London has recently seen attacks and the Grenfell Tower disaster, but music acts far and wide like Akala, Low-key, Lily Allen and more have spoken about rights for working class communities. What do you make of it all? Does society care less about poor people?

Of course I think society cares less about poor people. They don’t give a damn about us.

This past election saw more young people than ever all across the UK become interested in voting and politics, what do you think has happened in recent months to make that happen?

It’s all in the campaign, LOL.

Rap music has always been political with Americas first rappers talking about their social conditions and the system. In 2017 should music stars still speak about politics?

Yeah, but everyone should speak their own opinion.

Why does grime love Jeremy Corbyn?

He rates and respects young people.



Your award winning single Robbery grew in popularity from word of mouth, the grime music scene has shown how they are powerful without a music label, what are your thoughts on signing to a major vs being an independent artist?

I think each situation can work for different artists – If you’re doing your ‘ting proper and independent and making dough you would only sign to a label if they can prove that they can change the whole situation and make you more money than you’re making and I wouldn’t even call my kinda music grime. There’s no one way to define but I’d categorise as my own sound…… differontos.

Abra Cadabra ft. Krept & Konan – Robbery Remix

Your appearance on Belly Squad’s Banana Remix saw you exploring the Afrobeats/rap axis…you clearly love experimenting and are open to new sounds…what other musical journey might we see Abra Cadabra take?

Man does every style, haha. I like melody so I’m always trying to new stuff… I just like experimenting with new sounds. I’ve got some stuff coming soon which will definitely surprise people. My latest sound I got with Danzey, another up and coming rapper from Tottenham. It’s called ‘Stay’ and I released it on my own channel. It briefly touches the Afro swing audience.

You’re cited as being one of the most exciting MC’s in the UK right now…(fusing afrobeats and rap, riding the murky UK version of drill), what way are you and your peers generally pursuing new directions?

We do a lot of collaborations with artists and producers so we are always bring new sounds in and trying new stuff. So man is always into new stuff.

You’re a MOBO best single winner, how important are the MOBO AWARDS to British black acts and what brand points does MOBO give you that no other UK awards do?

When man won the MOBO that was just weird, in a good way, coz I grew up watching it and thought that it was another world. So when I was a winner, it was another madness. The MOBO’s are so important, as they are part of the handful of award shows that has always supported and celebrated black music alongside Posty’s Grm award. Without them we wouldn’t be making the strides we are now. Every artist who does what we do wants to win a MOBO. Manz looking forward to this years MOBOS – it’s gonna be crazy.

The GRM / Rated Awards are also big for the grime generation, how has the GRM brand impacted your music and exposure?

Big up Rated Awards always . That was the first award I ever won. I was so shocked when my name got called out as the winner I jumped on Posty. It feels like so long ago when I made that infamous speech . Winning that award made me feel like I’m definitely on the right path. A lot of people reached out after that win.


Many American artists are taking an interest in the U.K. market, with names like Drake featuring Giggs on his More Life playlist. If you could collaborate with any American name this coming year, who would it be and why?

It would have to be…… it’s a difficult one… let me think about it and get back to you in 2 working days loool

British rappers used to really care about making it in America, do you still?

I think now we just believe in ourselves more now and we know that we are sick at what we do and we don’t need approval anymore. Obviously man wants to have success in America, like every artist does, but one step at a time.

What makes British acts so cool and innovative?

We are just real and don’t change for anyone and I think people respect that.

Whats coming next for Abra Cadabra?

Lots of stuff happening. I’m gonna be dropping more videos over the next few months, you’ll see some more collabs also. I’m gonna continue performing live at all these festivals over the summer. Go subscribe to my YouTube channel if you want to stay updated. But big shout outs to Fais and Wize – two people that play big parts in my career who are the unsung heroes and I’d like to end by sending my condolences to Uncle Ounto who recently lost his brother to knife crime.

Jasmine’s Juice -‘Generation Z: Meet the Young Millennials’

Okayyyy, we all know that the world is now digital.
Millennials have taken the digital baton and sprinted ahead with it, doing for themselves today what was once impossible.
Used to be that the establishment and old skool gate-keepers would decide who, what, when and why things would happen.
Nowadays the current generation of young people are building their empires online via their own special style of disruptive marketing.
The internet and digital movements have opened up a world where anyone with a it of tech-savvy know-how can make it and the industry this is most apparent in is music.

Music is the most widely watched content type among 12-15 year olds on YouTube, though YouTubers like Zoella and KSI are becoming the new pop stars for Gen Z

85% of 16-19 year olds say that music is an important part of their life while 74% say that music for
them is about going out and having fun.

Music record labels, PR teams, radio playlists and event management teams have been forced to look at digital platforms and work alongside them instead of competing with them.

Yesterday saw labels association the BPI and entertainment retail body ERA host a joint Insight Session which will see Mark Mulligan of MiDiA Research unveil a report into Generation Z: Meet the Young Millennials, which explores the music consumption habits and social media behaviour of today’s young Millennials.

The report found that teens value video platforms for music discovery and social engagement, but, as they develop as music consumers, look to audio streaming services and are more prepared to pay for music

Also, the report for BPI/ERA explores the music consumption habits and social media behaviour of today’s young Millennials (aged up to 19) and how their engagement across streaming and video platforms and social media and messaging apps, including Instagram, Snapchat and Musical.ly, is shaping longer-term trends.

It finds that YouTube still dominates in the social media space
The research finds that for today’s tweens and teenagers YouTube is a pervasive platform – not only for new music and content and access to influential YouTubers like Zoella, but for social engagement also. YouTube plays a key role as “a video destination, music app, social platform and educational resource rolled into one”.

Similarly, messaging apps have replaced social networks…..
Messaging apps including Snapchat and Instagram are becoming increasingly important, replacing social networks for Generation Z and enabling them to act on their impulse to “live in the moment” and “narrate their lives”. As such they help build engagement around music and artist profiles.

More recent apps like Musical.ly and Dubsmash – video social network apps for video creation and messaging – are also growing in popularity. This is in part due to a rate of app innovation that is accelerating thanks to the “Millennial feedback loop” of older millennials shaping app experiences for the younger Gen Z.

But Spotify dominates music space and drives discovery…
The research additionally shows that, as teenagers develop as music consumers, they are likely to be drawn to audio streaming services such as Spotify, Deezer and Apple Music. For those aged 16-19 Spotify is overtaking YouTube as the main music app, with 53 per cent weekly user penetration compared to 47 per cent for YouTube.

This helps to underline another finding highlighted in the report from previous MiDiA research showing that younger consumers (16-19 years: 67%) are more prepared to pay for music than other age groups (56%).

Streaming is, however, also transforming UK Teens’ relationship with music, with Millennials increasingly accessing individual tracks or playlists rather than engaging with artists or albums See LINK XX to full report and key summary findings below.

Geoff Taylor, Chief Executive BPI & BRIT Awards, said: “If we are going to prepare for the future of music, we need to better understand Generation Z and the influences that shape their engagement with music. These young digital natives are not only important as a key segment of the market, but the way they interact with music helps to unveil trends that will become more widespread among music fans over time.”

Kim Bayley, Chief Executive ERA, said: “It’s not news that entertainment is changing, but none of us should underestimate the achievement of the streaming revolution. Not only has it helped stop piracy in its tracks, it has created the first real growth in the music industry in more than a decade and has done so with an unbeatable consumer proposition: 24/7 access to virtually all the music in the world. In the fast-paced digital world, however, nothing is forever and it is vital to stay close to emerging generations of music fans, many of whom were not even born at the dawn of the MP3 age.”

Generation Z: Meet the Young Millennials – Summary of Key findings:

· 85% of 16-19 year olds say that music is an important part of their life.
· Authenticity, relevance, shareability and context are key to Gen Z.
· YouTube is the most pervasive entertainment platform for Gen Z, peaking at 94% monthly penetration among 16-19 year olds.
· However, for these 16-19 year olds, as interest in music develops, Spotify is overtaking YouTube as the main music app, with 53% weekly user penetration compared to 47% for YouTube.
· Music is the most widely watched content type among 12-15 year olds on YouTube, with YouTubers such as Zoella (11.8m subscribers) and KSI (16.1m) becoming the new pop stars for Gen Z.
· UK teens (16-19 years) are more willing to pay for music. 67% consider it to be worth paying for regularly compared to 56% of overall consumers.
· A third of 8-11 year olds in the UK use Snapchat, rising to 67% for 16-19 year olds, while 63% of 16-19 year olds use Instagram.
· Messaging apps like Snapchat and Instagram are replacing social networks for Gen Z.
· Among 16-19 year olds YouTube and social media unsurprisingly dominate, with much higher penetration rates than the overall population.
· Streaming is transforming Gen Z’s relationship with music: 74% of all 16-19 year olds say they are mainly listening to single tracks and playlists instead of albums.
· 71% of 16-19 year olds listen to music radio on an at least monthly basis, just 3 percentage points above the all-ages average.

Table 1: Weekly use of music apps by UK teens (compared to all users average), December 2016

Table 2: Snapshot of Gen Z social media useage

Jasmine’s Juice – Football Legend Chris Hughton Surprise Celebration!


Last night the great and the good came out to celebrate a man thats broken down barriers in the British football industry. Chris Hughton – an Irish former professional footballer and current manager of Brighton & Hove Albion, who has achieved above and beyond in the ruthless world of football as a black man.
The venue was Soul Store West in Kilburn High Rd, which was the perfect location as aside from football, Chris loves his music and so the night was called ‘The Soul Of The Game’.

In 1979, Mr Hughton became the first mixed race player to represent the Republic of Ireland national team and has a tumultuous career since then, negotiating a perilous path that many at his surprise celebration last night recognised.


After making his professional debut aged 20, Hughton spent most of his playing career with Tottenham Hotspur as a left back, leaving in 1990 after 13 years. After relatively brief spells with West Ham United and Brentford, Hughton retired from playing in 1993 at age 34.

People celebrating his efforts at the SOUL STORE WEST in Kilburn High Rd included Valerie Amos, Michelle Mathers, numerous present and former footballers like Ossie Aediles, young sports journalists like Channel 4 News’ Jordan….BBC’s Jeanette Kwakye, DJ’s Trevor Nelson and DJ Spoony and the legend Jazzie B OBE. The night was supported by the KICK IT OUT organisation that aims to make racism and discrimination in football a thing of the past.


All anyone could talk about was Mr Hughtons incredible journey. (I know zero about football so it was an enlightening evening for me!).
I was told that from 1993 to 2007, Chris Hughton served as coach and then assistant manager for Tottenham. He joined Newcastle United as first team coach in 2008, and, following their relegation, became caretaker manager. He led Newcastle back to the Premier League in his first season in charge, along the way breaking a number of records and securing the permanent managerial position.


Controversially, he was sacked as manager by Mike Ashley the following December, with his side 12th in the table. Hughton managed Birmingham City for a single season, leading them to fourth place in the league, before joining Norwich City in June 2012. Norwich sacked Hughton in April 2014.

It’s interesting that a black man is more likely to play football for England’s national team than ever hold a senior position in the music industry. Whilst there are hundreds of BAME footballers playing for clubs all across the UK , its still just Chris Hughton who is currently a team manager. Whats that about?


However, as we know, a tenacious winner never stops pushing through whatever the obstacles. Following his departure from Norwich, Hughton became manager of Brighton & Hove Albion midway through the 2014–15 Championship season, securing the club’s safety within the division.

In the following 2015–16 season, Hughton guided Brighton to an impressive third-placed finish, narrowly missing out on promotion to the Premier League through an inferior goal difference of two goals.

CHAIRMAN OF THE PFA SAID ””It’s a pity that the Blk community is not represented well in football management and leadership but Chris is always outspoken and leads”

In the following season, Hughton guided Brighton to promotion to the Premier League and to the club’s first season in the top flight of English football since 1983.

On 18 May 2016, Hughton signed a new four-year contract which will run until June 2020! A huge deal and stand-out moment in the football industry. Last night diversity in football organisation Kick It Out supported the evening where guests feasted on chicken, ribs, burgers, fish and flutes of champagne kept flowing.

Just weeks ago, on 17 April 2017, Brighton achieved automatic promotion to the 2017–18 Premier League after a 2–1 win at home to Wigan!

The man responsible for ALL this…Chris Hughton – salute!

Jasmine’s Juice – Legends TLC Are Back With a Great New Album And Lots To Say!

TLC need no introduction. They’re the nineties girl group that are the modern-day blueprint of what girlbands are based on.
With their unapologetic, no-holds-barred feminist anthems, calling out everyday sexism before it was even a thing, standing up for equal rights for those with hidden voices and more, their hits are still rinsed around the world.

I grew up, as did every other wannabe cool urban city chic back then, wanting to be TLC. Their clothes, attitudes and strength in speaking up was aspirational. Their new self-titled album focuses on the world in 2017, women dying to be perfect, the state of the new world, getting over life’s obstacles and more. You see, its for us, for now, for my generation and the new generation, different era, same needed danceable anthems.

Ladies, welcome back! How does it feel to be back and what inspired the comeback?

T Boz – Timing is everything. And it was organically right for us now. The fans have been asking for us to return for long time. The opportunity presented itself and here we are – boom!

You’ve never really been away though, TLC have in the past few years been constantly in demand on shows and awards, but how much for you has changed in 25 years since you started?

T Boz – The Industry and social media have been the main changes and of course we lost our group member so I guess…pretty much everything.

Tell us why you decided to go down the kickstarter campaign route to finance the new music? (Celebs like Bette Midler / Justin Timberlake and Katy Perry all donated). Was this an attempt to control things yourselves as opposed to a record label?

Chilli – Our manager Bill Wiggins brought that to table for us, talking about the freedom of it all and not having to deal with a record label and stuff so we said let’s do that and incorporate the fans like we have in the past. Like we did with the album Fanmail where we put fan names in our CD cover, so they funded this.

T Boz – Also, we gave them packages like sleepovers, personalised messages, movie dates, and stuff like that.
Chilli – If I could have done that with Michael Jackson (when I was a young fan) -whooo you have no idea! I’d give my rent, money, and car…everything.

You have a new self-titled album coming June 30th – what can you tell us about it?

Chilli – It’s called TLC. As far as the lyrical content., people know us and our style, we won’t stray far from that. The tracks are jamming. You know we thought Dallas (Austin) was gonna be on this project but with all of our busy schedules we just couldn’t make it happen, so we had writing camps in L.A and Atlanta and found all this new raw writing talent which has been great.

What instructions did you give the writers?

T Boz – I think the mistake people make, is trying write for what they think we should be saying now – you can’t do that. Or they usually try and outdo something we’ve already done in our past. What we are saying to them is ‘‘we hired you cos we like what YOU do. Working organically is the best way. To get to the essence of who you are and then it just naturally happened. Once people didn’t feel the pressured to outdo Unpretty or Waterfalls and did what they do best it just organically came together.

So many of your past songs are still or even more relevant today than they were so many years ago. What are you talking about this time around?

T Boz – Well, its less focus on fashion as we did so much of that early in our career but watching people over the years I had A LOT to say. I couldn’t WAIT to get a pen in my hand! ‘’Perfect Girls/ American Hold / Way Back….I helped pen these songs and all of them mean something to me.

American Hold talks about all the politics in the world, and all the turmoil that America was going through with certain situations, and our troops..,there’s a dedication to them…they fought on this soil and died over it, so its a dedication to them as a thank you.

“It’s Sunny” is like life a story about overcoming in life. Good overcoming your fears and bad stuff. We covered a lot of stuff.

Chilli – also social media is a very a very narcissistic system and all these selfies and filters that people are obsessed with, and by the time the world sees the image, that’s not you and that’s not realistic. It’s fun to do and we all do it sometimes, but that can’t be what you’re living for? I
t’s easy to talk about those things and even though we have No Scrubs and it will exist for ever and ever and ever – some girls weren’t even born when we put those songs out – so we have to be repetitive until it really gets in there. I mean we’re not preachers or anything like that, but we do it in a fun way in a way that feels good. We’ve been called feminists, which I take it as a complement and we just tell it like it is.

T Boz – a lot of young girls try and be perfect and that’s not realistic with that instagram shot and that’s what ‘Perfect Girls’ is about. No one’s perfect, we all have flaws and insecurities. But a lot of people alter their bodies and so that’s cool, they altered them, so let’s just call a spade a spade “I didn’t like this part of my body so I altered it and made it better”, but just be real about what you’re doing, before the youngsters out there who are striving to for perfection that doesn’t exist, we are all flawed in some way!

How will your new music translate to new generation of young women?

Chilli – this generation are hungry for that stuff. This generation are repeatedly going back to the 90’s cos the music back then was so diverse! For example at the MTV Awards we would be in same category as Hootie & The Blowfish and all these other guys, it was crazy and so you had a nice, beautiful variety of music. But today, it seems like its just one box and the sound is all the same and so I feel it’s important for groups like us to come out and not jump on bandwagon. Also we’ve always been on our own train, people just need to know what their lane is, own it, be confident about that, don’t worry about what’s going on everywhere else.

T Boz – and also I think people now praise promiscuity and being promiscuous. That’s unfortunate. Strive to be bigger and better cos some of the goals are just not really that great these days. You wanna respect yourself cos no one else will if u don’t.

How much is better for young people nowadays compared with when you guys first started out?

Chilli – it’s definitely better now. Social media is a blessing and a curse. We opened up a lot of doors for women to have that girl power thing in them and do what they wanna do.

T Boz – I think the whole word ” public figure” is very interesting. I think if instagram went away a lot of people would have no jobs.
It’s funny I saw an insta model tweet “they should get rid of the title instamodel”. I was like why? Don’t be ashamed of what u are!
That’s what you do! …and then they change and call themselves public figure?! I just think that’s funny! Things have changed for the better for women but also focused on the wrong stuff. ” Public figure” is funny to me. That’s not hot. If that were me, I would want an actual job title that’s legit. A real job!

With your new music, even though there are two of you in TLC now, have you managed to capture the spirit of Lisa within the new work at all?

Chilli – It’s second nature to us. Lisa’s spirit lives on through us forever. When we perform you’re gonna see that. We have a Left Eye interlude on this album. We’ve had 15 years to try and continue to move forwards. It’s just the two of us now but we know that she would want us to continue and so this is the new TLC.
We’ve gotten past the part now where we know she’s not here, but she’s forever missed, that’s our sister. But I think about it this way. No one else is ever gonna be in this group, it’s just the two of us. We’re never changed that. She’s always with us.
T Boz – With Lisa we made history together ….

It’s an unusual and horrific experience to lose a fellow band member so young, there was a lot of shock worldwide. How did you personally deal with that time?

Chilli – losing a family member is heart-breaking. I lost my grandmother but you expect that as she’s older, but to lose a sister at the age of thirty? That’s like what? It’s unbelievable cos you never think that that’s gonna happen!

T Boz – and then with the world watching, there’s no way to grieve. That’s not something you’re taught and to go to a grocery store or anywhere and everyone’s talking about it…”did u hear about Left Eye …” You almost wanna become a hermit seeing the headlines on every counter …that’s really your life. I didn’t know how to take people approaching me and smiling going “I’m sorry for your loss but can I have a picture with you?” And I’m like “did u mean that?” Or they’d say “sorry that she died, but I can Rap!” People just say the most insensitive things.

T Boz – I was most probably depressed for a couple of years over it, it was hard.

Chilli – I spoke about her like she was still here for a long time cos I could not talk about her in the past tense. I just, I just couldn’t do it. And that’s how I had to grieve and deal with it.

T Boz, you just mentioned depression, something else that’s been huge with young people recently with many young pop stars and even our British Royal family talking about it is mental health. Have you ever had any difficult experiences in this area? Do you think young people today have it much better or worse than your own teenage experience?

T Boz – I think everyone shouldn’t ever be ashamed. We all deal with something and the reason people don’t get help with something is cos they’re embarrassed. And I’m glad more public figures are speaking out and admitting that they have problems. I got a whole bunch of people I know with mental disorders. They’re locked up they’ve been medicated. Some have psychiatrists. You have to let it out.
We have a campaign in the states called SILENCE THE SHAME and a lot of people are getting into it cos u have to silence the shame. There are too many suicidal kids out there. Like when I hear two of my friends with ten year olds – at ten years of age, what can be soooo bad?
You don’t wanna be here at ten? I think it’s a taught and learned behaviour where your child can go to school and talk to people like they do and the parent knows about it and doesn’t stop it? That crazy, that’s a problem!!

I wanna blame the parents. There’s no way my daughter would go to school spark to anyone that way and upset them. That is a no no!

Chilli – some people are born bad. I do believe in a bad seed. You have to recognise there’s a problem but recognise and deal with this problem.

T Boz – but I promise you if I see my kid has a mental health problem I’m gonna take care of them. Cos I really believe that if family and friends had spoken up before then, a lot of these tragedies wouldn’t have happened. And a lot of people would be alive today.

Chilli – with my son I’m like “close the door? For what? Privacy? What are u talking about? No. The only time he had a lil bit of privacy was when he needed to go for a shower .I know what’s going on. I’m listening to his conversations with his friends. You have to be involved. These are developing years and teenagers are not cool, they’re emotional. That’s when parents are needed the most. It’s not about stunting their growth; it’s about paying attention to things and their lil personalities and guiding them correctly but not to break their lil spirits and stuff.

T Boz – I look at my daughter. I have the two T’s. They’re good. Compared to what I see on the streets they’re good. If all I have to deal with is a smart mouth I’m good. Cos I have one too. But that’s better than my child being on drugs. Or beating on me, and stuff I hear other parents go through, I can’t fathom what that’s like.

You’ve seen the impact and power of elections in the states. Something that’s big on the UK News agenda this month is our General Election. How do you feel about voting? Do u vote? Should young people be encouraged to vote?

I’m in the middle with that. It’s important to know what you want to do but maybe you’re not happy with both parties? If you think that it’s important for you to exercise your rights to vote then do. Pick someone you feel most comfy with. But all these politician people at the end of that day are the same and they’re not as upset with each other as we get with them! They’re really cool with each other! Half of them are really good friends and much of the time you vote and you’re pumped and you think these changes are gonna happen and then they usually don’t… so politics to me is just ….tricks.

T Boz – I’m all for keeping hope alive so maybe you should vote …

You’re known for taking songs about serious issues to the top of the pop charts (AIDS-waterfalls / female self-esteem-unpretty),
One thing that’s been a big talking point in music recently has been equality for women in music. You had your own issues with your record labels and management years ago…. How have you found being women in music…was it and is it still sexist?

Chilli – I personally think some stuff is just the way it is. I’m not saying it’s right so as women we have to continue to kick those doors down and continue to have a voice.

T Boz – it’s not right. I remember sitting in the record company and I had said something two weeks prior to this man and no one had said anything. Two weeks later he says what I said …but see WE are different women …I hit the table I was like I HIT THE TABLE I said no no!
I will stand up like a man and speak up. He ain’t about to take my credit. If I can pay manly bills I can do manly things. I’m gonna stand strong, and loud, and say what I wanna say, how I wanna say it, and when I wanna say, I’m not gonna let you take anything from me man or not!

Chilli – even in the acting world male actors can still be cast with a young actress, but with a female you are hot for a limited time, but as I said it’s always been the way, but you just gotta keep on fighting.

Your new single WAY BACK features Snoop…

Snoop! No other person who would fit that track except him. Everyone has that person in their life, when no matter how long you haven’t spoken in, when you do its all good, and its still ‘you’re still my everything’.

Finally, your legacy is historic. TLC formed the blueprint of modern-day girl groups. Beyonce says you influenced Destiny’s Child and you can definitely hear it. How would you describe the legacy of TLC?

T Boz – I just want us to be remembered for the things we’ve done and the doors we’ve opened.
When we came up there was no social media and we had to work really hard …men then could in those days could just take off their shirts and people would scream and we’d be like OMG we’re fully clothed? Like how we gonna get that reaction and do that? But we did, so our talent and everything spoke for itself.
But when u look at TLC it’s the dancing, the clothes, the timeless music, the lyrical content, and the true essence of what we stood for to make you feel good. Feel good in everyone’s life and not just girls but everybody. And not to come across as preachers but we did it in a fun way with music and dancing and energy and it should just be a good old feeling!

The next night TLC took to London’s KOKO venue for a sold out gig and they smashed it!
Full stage set with a full energy and very capable band, dancers in gold lame tracksuits, T Boz and Chilli’s sultry, distinctive vocals both sounding as dope as ever, and their high impact choreography and stage presence was as amazing as it ever was, putting many acts half their age to shame.

For us UK fans it was well worth the wait and their new album ”TLC”, dropping June 30th, is awaited eagerly by R&B and pop fans globally.
A truly brilliant comeback – welcome back ladies, we’ve missed and needed your presence!



1. ‘No Introduction’
2. ‘Way Back’ ft. Snoop Dogg
3. ‘It’s Sunny’
4. ‘Haters’
5. ‘Perfect Girls’
6. ‘Interlude’
7. ‘Start a Fire’
8. ‘American Hold’
9. ‘Scandalous’
10. ‘Aye MuthaFucka’
11. ‘Joy Ride’
12. ‘Way Back’ ft. Snoop Dogg [extended version]

Jasmine’s Juice – Darcus Howe, A Renegade Rests In Peace.

Today a great man was laid to rest.
Darcus Howe was an incredible man. Google him and his work.
Encourage your young ones to read up on how he and his peers laid the path for many of us to be able to do what we do in 2017.

Leighton Rhett Radford “Darcus” Howe was a British broadcaster, writer and civil liberties campaigner from Trinidad, who arrived in England as a teenager intending to study law. Here he joined the British Black Panthers, a group named in sympathy with the eponymous US organisation. He came to public attention in 1970 as one of the “Mangrove Nine”, who marched to the police station in Notting Hill, London, to protest against police raids of the Mangrove restaurant, and again in 1981 when he organised a 20,000-strong “Black People’s Day of Action” in protest at the handling of the investigation into the New Cross Fire, in which 13 black teenagers died.

Darcus was an architect of change in Britain for multi cultural irrecoverable change. At his funeral in west London today the church was packed full, with well-wishers spilling out all over the street outside and by the time the service was over the whole of All Saints Rd and nearby Portobello Road was at a stand still with the Mangrove Steel Band leading a guard of honour procession for Darcus’ hearse.

I attended, not just to pay respects to this man who I had grown up hearing about from my dad and his peers who were all friends, not just a man I had watched on TV rustling feathers and being provocative (CLEARLY had an influence on me no?), but a man who inspired and nurtured many including my friend- Darcus Beese – son of Darcus Howe. Darcus Junior is always supportive of any request I make of him and is also the first ever black man to head a record label in the UK and leads with vision, authority and grace bringing up young black people in his own footsteps at his label. How incredible is that for a legacy of father and son!

A plethora of people wanted to pay their respects. the congregation today included people like BBC Chief / Sugar Films FounderPat Younge, Black Cultural Archives Director Paul Reid, ITV/Shiver Productions talent exec Michelle Matherson, Record Label and TV company CEO’s, print press writers and columnists, fashion designers, pop star managers like Raye Cosbert (Amy Winehouse) and Trenton Harrison-Lewis (Giggs), Jackie Davidson, fashion designers like Mary Martin, music industry key influencers like Alex Boating (Twin B) and many, many more.

It’s no wonder, Darcus infiltrated many worlds. He was an editor of Race Today, and chairman of the Notting Hill Carnival. He was best known as a television broadcaster in the UK for his Black on Black series on Channel 4, his current affairs programme, Devil’s Advocate, and his work with Tariq Ali on Bandung File. His television work also included White Tribe (2000), a look at modern Britain and its loss of “Englishness”; Slave Nation (2001); Who You Callin’ a Nigger? (2004); and Is This My Country? (2006), a search for his West Indian identity.He wrote columns for the New Statesman and The Voice.

In 1982, Mr Howe began his broadcasting career on Channel 4’s television series Black on Black, was subsequently co-editor with Tariq Ali of Bandung File and later White Tribe, a look at modern-day Britain and its loss of “Englishness”. Howe continued to write in the New Statesman and fronted the Channel 4 current affairs programme Devil’s Advocate. He was a keynote speaker at the 2005 Belfast Film Festival’s “Film and Racism” seminar and presented his documentary Who You Callin’ a Nigger? at the festival.

Darcus Howe appeared on the discussion programme Midweek (on BBC Radio 4), to promote the documentary on 19 October 2005 and, live on air, became involved in an angry debate with American comedian Joan Rivers. The dispute began when Howe suggested that Rivers was offended by the use of the term “black”; Rivers objected strongly to the suggestion that she was racist and accused Howe of having a “chip on his shoulder”.

He was interviewed by Fiona Armstrong for BBC News on 9 August 2011 at the time of the 2011 England riots.During the interview, Armstrong twice referred to him as “Marcus Dowe”, then asked: “You are not a stranger to riots yourself, I understand, are you? You have taken part in them yourself.” Howe denied this, saying: “I have never taken part in a single riot. I’ve been part of demonstrations that ended up in a conflict. Have some respect for an old West Indian Negro, and stop accusing me of being a rioter. Because you wanted for me to get abusive, you just sound idiotic—have some respect.” The BBC apologised for any offence the interview caused and said “it had not intended to show him any disrespect”.

More recently, asked about the unfolding situation in London, Howe discussed the death of Mark Duggan: “What I am not – what I’m concerned about more than anything else, there’s a young man called Mark Duggan. He has parents, he has brothers, he has sisters, and two yards away from where he lives, a police officer blew his head off.”

At the funeral his friend Sheila Graham from Jamaica talked about him as a young boy and his travels from the Caribbean to Southampton a few decades ago in 1961.


Next, my uncle Farrukh Dhondy – who was also Darcus best friend and Black Panther UK founder, made a brilliant tribute speech about meeting Darcus many moons ago on a tube train from Hyde Park and their subsequent years of friendship, travelling to Delhi together and work escapades.


The funeral was interspersed with music from the Mangrove Steel Band and their pan playing.


Co-ordinator of the Tottenham RIGHTS & Race Advocacy Officer at The Monitoring Group – Stafford Scott (who also happens to be music star Wretch32’s uncle),also made a beautifully powerful tribute about Darcus legacy…


Stafford said ”Darcus used to call me by my full name on the phone ”Leila!-it’s Stafford Scott!”…..he called me initially and told me “you remind me of me when I was younger. He was the Mangrove 9. We were the TOTTENHAM 3. He always told me to ‘Say how it is. Stand up and be counted”. He was a unique pioneer. From Trinidad to the UK to USA he was known for his political forsights and insights. He was always someone that I would always turn to in moments of concern. He was a renegade. I was the rebel. The renegade would burn down places strategically. He would actually call and tell you he was coming to burn it down!. He stood decade after decade on the frontlines. He held everyone to account. Especially those who didn’t seem to have political rights. He was classless, the likes of whom we will never see again. The greatest accolade I can give my brother is that he wore some massive shoes. They are some big shoes to fill. If we are going to respect him let’s talk the truth to power. Where we can contribute to the community let’s do it. Cos without him the world is a harder place”.

Finally Darcus daughter Tamara made the emotional but commanding eulogy.
Tamara said ”I never expected to have to be here, saying these words, so soon. But Dad was unpredictable. He did his thing his own way. When he ready to go from somewhere you knew it…. I’ve been moved by the tributes…..he was a campaigner and a warrior but also a father, brother, son and more. We kids all know where we all came from, who we are,and that black was beautiful and come what may we were here to stay…. He as a legislator in every sense of the word. ….”Interference would be met with gunfire!!!” He would bellow…..

A great moment during the service was when Sheila added a surprise last minute addition by reading aloud...a note from Jeremy Corbyn to Darcus wife Leila Hassan… ‘‘Dear Leila. I am so sorry i am unable to be with you and your family today. Sorry to hear of the passing of Darcus. From rural Trinidad to Urban Britain…. Few people understood the exploitation of people from the Caribbean to Britain….thank you Darcus for all you have taught us. Jeremy Corbyn”.

Mr Howe was diagnosed with prostate cancer in April 2007 and subsequently campaigned for more men to get tested. He died aged 74 on 1 April 2017, at his home in Streatham, London, where he lived with his wife Leila Howe.

Thank you Mr Howe for many decades fighting for equality and justice. Thank you for being bold and brave and inspiring me to be so too.
The legacy that you have left will not be forgotten.
We appreciate you, will hold your name and stories high and we now have the baton to run forwards with.
Onwards and upwards. Love and laughter. Rest In Power Darcus Howe.

Jasmine’s Juice – Stormzy Album, Number 1 In the UK Charts – Here’s Why.

Congratulations to Stormzy ON HIS NUMBER 1 chart position this week. Against the odds, he has taken the grime music genre to another level. Here’s why;

His team embraced the DIY millennial mind set of shunning the old skool record label gate-keepers and within a team that you could count on both hands, had an ‘all-hands-on-deck” approach. Big up manager Tobe, PR extraordinaire and more Rachel Campbell, Akua Agyemfra, Kenneth, the rest of the team including Twin B, Holly, Angie, James and more.


His album was produced by AN ABSOLUTE UNDERSTATED LEGEND IN THE MUSIC GAME- Fraser T Smith! A man that is a multiple Grammy Award nominee and worked with the biggest names from Drake, Adele, Britney and more. He told me in his London studio this week that this was his best work ever.
The sounds are panoramic, beautiful strutted, with hard ear worm hooks all through every track. Its a musical journey without one weak song.


He had the most hectic, most innovative launch week campaign I think I have ever seen. From mainstream national TV appearances on Good Morning Britain, to Channel 4 News (with me), to Sunday Brunch and more. He was covered by every hot digital platform from Complex, to Fader to Noisey to NME.


By a stroke of genius within his team- I see you Akua/ Kenneth- when they learnt he was in with a shot at the number 1 spot but the mighty Rag N Bone Man was snapping fast at his heels, they organised a wild marathon signing session all over the country from record stores, youth organisations and the brilliant Man UTD Football Club signing at Old Trafford! A meeting of industries, celebs, genres and more all puling for the underdog!


He speaks up when it matters. Its all well and good being a music star but what do you stand for? Stormzy has spoken up on racist nightclubs, lack of diversity at The Brit Awards and politicians and the system not working for the average man on the street. He’s an advocate of people power and has put this thinking into practise.
A wise man once said ”if you don’t stand for something, you’ll fall for anything”.


I have never seen a grime star that is so loved across generations that both kids, middle aged fans and people from every possible background gravitate towards him. His fearless and boldness to speak and be vulnerable has made him a champion for all.


He’s able to code switch like a chameleon. He’s a well rounded dude. One minute bantering with the lads over a drink, the next rolling with his homies, the next being the most articulate 23 year old and then gushing about loving his mum, now known across the musical industry as ‘auntie Abigail”.


He is proud and bold in talking about his faith and love of God. Nuff said. Amen.

His celeb fan love is untouchable. Household names from Adele, to One Direction stars, to Eastenders soap stars, to Rio Ferdinand to Labour party leader Jeremy Corbyn have bigger him up on twitter!


You can watch his extended, insightful conversation with me in an interview with Channel 4 News here.

He says a lot of great things and discusses his album GANG SIGNS AND PRAYER as well as young peoples issues, the system, education, Brexit, the Brit Awards, Trump, record labels, his love of God, his mum , depression and people power!

Jasmine’s Juice – New Edition Biopic Finally Hits British Screens on BET This Week!

Who doesn’t love R&B and swing beat classics like Mr Telephone Man and Candy Girl, My Perogative, Every Little Step, and numerous other New Edition and Bobby Brown hits?

Over 3 decades the band went though drama, line-up changes and global stardom and now finally their story is being told in a 3-part biopic season on BET. Following critical acclaim in the U.S, the story of legendary ‘New Edition’ reaches UK screens and I have been glued to the screen.

BET Networks is the leading provider of quality entertainment, music, news and public affairs television programming for people that want to know what’s hot, what’s next and what matters in black culture and without their platform and brand us R&B lovers would have no chance of re-living and being informed about our early musical passions. Thank you BET.

BET UK threw a launch party, screening and Q&A session with the cast in London this past week to the delight of R&B music lovers and New Edition fans.
I was just born when an 11 year old Bobby Brown got together with his pals Ricky Bell, Mike Bivins, and Ralph Tresvant and convinced them to perform at local talent shows.

A couple of decades later the boy band were mega stars until the band forced Bobby Brown to leave the group in 1985 following a period of misbehavior and rebellious behavior on his part.

Starting a solo career, he became a hit success with his second album in 1988, Don’t Be Cruel, which spawned a number of hit singles including the self-penned “My Prerogative”, and the Grammy Award-winning “Every Little Step” which became his signature hit. Brown had a string of top ten hits on various Billboard charts between 1986 and 1993. He returned to the group for a reunion album and tour from 1996 to 1997, and has returned with all six members for another stint since 2005.

New Edition laid the foundation for how modern-day boy bands look, feel, and sound. Boyz II Men, N’SYNC, The Backstreet Boys, and New Kids On The Block all took their cues from Ronnie DeVoe, Ralph Tresvant, Michael Bivins, Bobby Brown, Ricky Bell & Johnny Gill.

After 30 years of breaking hearts, New Edition have finally got the biopic that their stellar tenure in entertainment so richly deserves. This epic three-part miniseries follows the group from their humble beginnings as kids in Boston to global mega-stardom – weathering the highs and lows of controversy, personal changes, and the ultimate cost of fame.

The star-filled THE NEW EDITION STORY cast includes Bryshere Y. Gray Elijah Kelley, Luke James, Keith Powers, Algee Smith, Woody McClain, Dante Hoagland, Caleb McLaughlin, Jahi Winston, Myles Truitt and Tyler Williams as NEW EDITION along with La La Anthony, Yvette Nicole Brown, Monica Calhoun, Lisa Nicole Carson, Sandi McCree Wood Harris, Michael Rapaport, Faizon Love, Duane Martin Tank and Bre-Z.

The musical sound track, as you can well imagine is gold…..along with a stellar cast, THE NEW EDITION STORY includes a collective of award-winning producers and directors including iconic music powerhouses James “Jimmy Jam” Harris, Terry Lewis and Kenny “Babyface” Edmonds, Executive Producer Jesse Collins and award-winning director Chris Robinson.

# # #


#NewEditionBET | Twitter – @BET_Intl | Instagram – @BET_Intl

Jasmine’s Juice – Royal Television Society Journalism Awards 2017. #RTSAWARDS

Last night the annual RTS Television Society Journalism Awards took place at the London Hilton on Park Lane where the biggest TV news brands from all across the UK gathered to celebrate their great work.

The awards, for both news and current affairs, seek to recognise creative and excellent journalism by organisations whose broadcasts are transmitted on a UK-based platform or who create online video content from a UK production base.


After the exceptional news events so far in 2016 and the high quality coverage by broadcasters in the UK there was a lot of healthy competition.
Big shout out to every news broadcaster from Channel 4, SKY News, BBC, ITV, CNN and so many more. We all do so much to bring the truth to the world.

British broadcasting has one of the highest reputations in the world and the daily risks that our reporters and teams face cannot be described. If I could share with you the things I have seen my colleagues bring back from foreign war zones, the horror, the negotiations, the personal stories…its all mind blowing and I am truly grateful that we live in a country where for the most part media have free speech and investigative powers.

Photo courtesy – Richard Kendal / RTS.

I was most chuffed that my extended news family at Channel 4 News swept the board on some pretty big categories! Here’s what we won!

Camera Operator of the Year:
went to a brave young woman who has fallen into reporting due to the dire circumstances that befell her country. Waad al-Kateab has shot incredibly powerful pictures around the horror in Aleppo risking the lives of herself and her family – her doctor husband and young baby.


The judges said about her win “With many strong contenders, our winner’s portfolio was head and shoulders above the rest. Her powerful images didn’t flinch from showing the full horror of life and death in Aleppo.”

The amazing Syrian Waad also won the highly coveted prize for Young Talent of the Year too. She was up against some brilliant names like Adam Cole – Sky News Programming and James Longman – Victoria Derbyshire Programme so this was a huge achievement.
Judges kept compliments for Waad coming…..“…heart stopping, calm in horrific conditions, sensitive, empathetic, extraordinary – the compliments kept on coming.”

The best News Coverage category
was also won by a Channel 4 piece of content – International: Inside Aleppo
Judges agreed that “In a year of extraordinary coverage of appalling wars, this insight into Aleppo was something very special. Our judges described it as remarkable, compelling and the yardstick by which other coverage should be judged. Matt Frei’s scripting was word perfect. With a digital project alongside, the coverage was imaginative and innovative and ticked the enterprise box too.”

Speaking of Matt Frie- his winning speech after taking Television Journalist of the Year was one of the highlights of an otherwise pretty serious, emotional evening. Matt, slightly alcohol affected bounded onstage and gave a hilarious, bragadociously entertaining speech bigging up the big man that decides how healthy or not his mortgage is- Ben De Pear and generally lifted the mood to the audiences delight!


The judges described Matt as “One of the best writers in the business. His use of language brings great depth to his reports and regularly shines through. His interviewing has also produced insights, which others have missed. He is one of the most experienced, and skilled TV journalists working today.”

It was incredible to hear that the Daily News Programme of the Year category was also won by Channel 4 News who do a blinding job of representing hidden voices and bringing so many diverse faces onscreen, the likes of which we have never seen before. Between bosses Ben De Pear and former boss Shaminder Nahal its now normal to see a black woman breast feeding her baby live on air whilst debating political issues! Just brilliant!

Photo courtesy – Richard Kendal / RTS.

About Channel 4 News the judges stated, “The winning programme demonstrated a masterful breadth and depth of content throughout the year, from world-class frontline coverage to their trademark political analysis and powerful interviews. They backed that up with tenacious and exclusive investigations and high quality location presentation.”


I have to give a shout out to SKY team for winning the News Technology: Sky Data prize. They really are a brand that think in a very futuristic data minded way that stands head and shoulders above the rest.
Judges said “…a brilliant example of technical innovation. It has transformed the way television measures public opinion, leaving the old vox pop obsolete. The team should be congratulated on using existing customer information to make a research panel of up to 10,000,000 people.”

The big award of the night is always the Judges’ Award, which this year went posthumously to the incredible broadcaster Steve Hewlett. A touching and monumental career in the broadcasting industry.


(citation below by Awards Chair Stewart Purvis)
“On 26 January a panel of representatives of broadcasters, video news agencies and jury chairs met to decide on the Judges’ Award. The rules say it can recognise an outstanding contribution on or off screen, in the past year or over the course of their career. The panel chose a winner who achieved so much on screen and off screen, over the course of his career and very particularly in the past year.
I phoned the winner and that’s how I got to tell Steve Hewlett that he had won the Judges’ Award. Steve told me he was honoured and touched to have won. He looked forward to receiving it on 1 March.
I don’t think there has ever been anybody in broadcasting quite like Steve Hewlett. And probably never will be again.
Over four decades he variously, and often simultaneously, produced programmes; edited them; commissioned them; wrote and broadcast about them; presented them and exec produced them as an independent. He worked for the BBC, Channel Four, ITV and his own indie Genie Pictures. He started on TV and learned to love radio. He was the star turn for many years at RTS Cambridge, Edinburgh and Sheffield festivals and many other media events.
He truly was a man for all seasons, one of them being the rugby season. I remember turning up with my son at a youth rugby tournament in Hertfordshire to find Steve all togged up ready to referee one of the matches.
He was fiercely competitive in everything he did but also generous with praise for his competitors. He always threw himself into his journalism. He spent eight weeks filming inside the Maze Prison with Peter Taylor, and made a remarkable film there. He enjoyed his triumphs – the 23,000,000 audience for the Panorama: Diana interview will take some beating as a record for factual television – and he carried on regardless after disappointments.
One of the hallmarks of Steve’s journalism was his natural curiosity – which contact or interviewee could resist an opening line like ‘help me with this if you can’. Another was his attention to detail, as a pundit he read the documents others didn’t, which is how he knew so much and questioned so much, especially his own employers at the BBC.
And there was his humanity and there was his humour. All these same qualities, this same journalism, came to the fore last year on the Radio 4 PM Programme. The presenter Eddie Mair told listeners that this time Steve was on the air not to talk about the media but about his health. Eddie asked Steve ‘What’s happening?’ to which Steve replied ‘Well I’ve got cancer. I’ve got cancer of the oesophagus’. This matter of fact conversation set the style for many that were to follow on Radio Four and be replicated in different forms in print and on TV. There had been cancer diaries before but this was much more, it was public interest journalism of the kind Steve practiced on Panorama. He knew all the details as if he was talking on the Media Show about the latest draft of the BBC Charter. The public response was enormous. Many of the people who wrote to Steve said he had inspired them to find out more about their own condition, their own treatment.
Steve and I talked about the archive clips from his career that he hoped we would show tonight. A Panorama team tracked those down and added some of Steve’s recent interviews about cancer. Together these clips form a compilation that tells the story of Steve Hewlett’s journalism from the early 1980’s right up to last month. The first is a clip Steve often mentioned, when he dressed up in a bear’s costume for a title sequence for a new Channel Four current affairs programme. So lookout for Steve the bear.
On 6 February Steve told Eddie Mair on BBC Radio Four that he’d been given only ‘weeks, possibly months’ to live. He and his partner Rachel Crellin decided to get married in a ceremony organised within the hour at the Royal Marsden Hospital. A few days later Rachel, Steve and I met there to talk about tonight. He told me again how proud he was about the award. I told him how much love there would be for him within the room, he looked rather surprised.
The plan was for him to be sitting at a table with Rachel, his former partner Karole Lang and his and Karole’s three sons Fred, Billy and Bertie. Steve knew he wouldn’t be well enough to come up to the podium but wanted his sons to speak for him. Of course Steve, always the realist, knew he may not make it here tonight.
He asked me to remind him when the event was. I said ‘two weeks’ time’, he gestured ‘two weeks’. And he was right. But Rachel is here tonight, so is Karole and please welcome to receive the Judges Award on their father’s behalf, the brothers Hewlett.”

RTS Television Journalism Awards 2017 winners

Daily news programme of the year: Channel 4
Television journalist of the year: Matt Frei
News coverage – international: Channel 4
News coverage – home: BBC Six and Ten O’Clock News, prisons special
News channel of the year: BBC News Channel
Breaking news: Sky News, Brussels terror attack
Scoop of the year: Sky News, IS Files report
Interview of the year: Sky News, Faisal Islam interviews David Cameron
Specialist journalist of the year: Lisa Holland, Sky News
Network presenter of the year: Tom Bradby, ITV News at Ten
Young talent of the year: Waad al-Kateab
Camera operator of the year: Waad al-Kateab