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.

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#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

Jasmine’s Juice – BRIT Awards 2017, The Best In Years!


The annual Brit awards are always a highlight of the UK music calendar -its like our Christmas.

ALL PHOTOS – JMEInternational.

It’s the biggest British music show that celebrates commercial music successes across the past 12 months, and always comes in for polarizing views the morning after.


Well this year, I thought it was a great show. Not perfect but nearly. Certainly one of the best in many years. It felt truly reflective of the UK.


The dress code was ‘’glamorous’’ and the ladies went all out with mostly long gowns. Long black sequins were in vogue so I was totally on trend, for once.


Simon Cowell’s Girl band Little Mix came out the stables strong, with a big production opening act, where alongside 50 dancers all spray painted silver, they gyrated through a Bob Fosse style dance number which had huge impact with stage, set, lighting and pyro. The girls clearly enjoyed the rest of their night at their table laughing and shrieking alongside two of their premier league footballer dates.



I miss the past moments that made it big when they used to pair up acts like Kylie and Justin Timberlake or Rihanna and The Klaxons, or Dizzee Rascal and Florence Welch. Those were once in a lifetime not to be missed moments. Resource and time means that this isn’t always an option any more but last night they had a hit this year with Ed Sheeran (who does more for diversity all by himself than our whole industry!), pairing up with grime superstar Stormzy.


Grime is a musical representation of street culture (definition by Stormzy), and it has a huge cultural influence that’s slowly being matched commercially across the globe, with the scene performing to sold out arenas as far flung as Japan to the USA.


Similarly, grime star Skepta’s performance was a literal miracle as the Brits have a history of rarely giving a platform to British black, grimy, hip hop bods a stage set. The fact that he had a set – a too sparse one in my humble opinion – was nevertheless a great look. Skepta, in turn, also tipped his hat to his musical inspirations, with a huge wall filled with images of hundreds of rappers that laid the path before him projected up behind him as he energetically leapt about the satellite stage mid-arena.


Soul singer Emeli Sande is that solo graceful singer that always delivers and it was refreshing to see her winning best female.


I think she still has a lot more to give though. The fact that she makes it all look so calm and easy means these still fire in her belly that I know can deliver so much more.


Since last years #britssowhite controversy, the leading body that oversees the show the BPI, sat up and took note and engaged a diversity committee, which I am a part of, who in a few short months brought an overhaul to the BRITs voting academy and now 48% of voters are female and 21% are of black or ethnic origin.

There was clear, positive change and this was reflected in this years nominations, which did include a plethora of previously excluded British black music acts. Many grumbled about the fact that they didn’t win. They did. They won the start on an equal playing field that can only get stronger moving forwards. Small steps lead to great leaps.


Speaking of great leaps, Katy Perry’s set saw her dancing and singing amongst hundreds of mini houses and two giant puppets that everyone suggested were Donald Trump and Teresa May. It wasn’t too obvious who they were but it did feel like a political statement of some sort.


The end of her set saw Katy literally bringing the house down, when one of her ‘dancing houses’ fell off the front edge of the stage, onto a record label table, causing them all to leap to their feet in shock as security ran to help the poor girl. Hope she/he is ok.

The 1975’s Matt Healey must’ve loved Katy’s political commentary, as earlier in the evening in his winning acceptance speech, he urged pop stars to go ahead and comment on social issues and not as some demanded ‘’stay in their lane’’. I totally co-sign that when you have a platform to speak to the world, you should always say something with impact and merit.

Ed Sheeran is an act that never ‘stays in his lane’ and always seems to do more for diversity than most of the rest of our industry put together. This year he made a track with an afrobeats star Fuse ODG in Ghana and last night when he featured grime megastar Stormzy in his set too, the whole arena was jumping and dancing.


In fact, there were only two moments in the whole show that the arena audience were all spontaneously up on their feet for – during Skepta’s solo set and Ed and Stormzys set. This should’ve been the final performance of the night – Robbie Williams – even with all the production sexiness didn’t have as big a song or the mega public presence this year.



A man that has been all over the global charts with his incredible catalogue of effervescent hit songs this year is Bruno Marrs, who was as swagtastic as ever, but whereas once upon a time The Brits show was dominated by the Americans, this year the Americans just felt like side-line guests. The stars were certainly the British acts.

A British singer that’s single-handedly made industry execs sigh with relief over their bank statements is North London lass Adele, who won the Global Success award and made a typically Adele-esque speech via video from distant lands – Australia I think.



Soul music is coming back. I can feel it in my bones. With Rag n Bone Man (Rory Graham), being the actual biggest winner of the night it wont be long before we’re all loving and singing soul again. Rory didn’t milk his big moment at all. He’s clearly still like a rabbit in headlights about his incredible success. At some points of the past year, his music has outsold the rest of the top 20 chart acts combined, so I think his team should’ve sold and pushed him more on lasts nights big win. With our support he’s the first step in bringing back blues, soul and R&B music. Yes lord, let it be true.


The celestial moment of the night came with the George Michael tribute, by Georges ex Wham band mate Andrew Ridgeley and their band-mates Pepsi and Shirley, who all made touching heartfelt speeches during which you could’ve heard a pin drop in the arena filled with thousands. This was followed by Coldplay frontman Chris Martin singing A Different Corner (originally released on Wham!’s 1986 final album Music From the Edge of Heaven).


Chris sang a ‘’live meets video’’ virtual duet. It was clear after watching ‘live Chris’ VS ‘video George – from his last UK tour – that the two performers are on totally different performance levels and George was in a class of his own with that megastar soulful voice.


The night highlighted, that we Brits punch well above our weight in the global arts and culture big picture. In these turbulent Brexit filled days, the UK music industry is a great global brand that reminds us, that as Mayor Sadiq Khan keeps reminded us #LondonIsOpen.

Remember, as you imagine that performing artists are just all one big frivolous song n dance, that it takes hundreds in teams behind each one to make an impact and generates millions for the UK economy.
In fact, check out these stats; one in every 6 albums bought globally is buy a British act. Seven out of ten of the UK’s top albums last year were by British acts.


The UK music industry has a billion audio streams a week and the vinyl resurgence continues to grow. (Although – sidebar – the money made by JUST a million vinyl sales last year- was MORE than the entire YouTube streaming profit for British music. SCARY!).

An oft-neglected fact is that the Brit Awards also raises a lot of money for The Brits School in South London, where hundreds of diverse young students are trained to be the stars and staff of our future media,in order to ensure that our arts and culture industry remain amongst the best in the world.

I’ll leave the last word to BPI (British Phonographic Industry) advisor and my colleague Ayesha Hazarika who stated joyously ‘’British music is a powerful global calling card, British music rocks the world’’.


Jasmine’s Juice – What Life Has Taught Me, All My Top Tips!


You are the average of the 5 people that you spend the most time with. So surround yourself as much as you can with positive, good people if you want a peacefully, successful life. Someone once said ‘Before you diagnose yourself with depression or anxiety, first check that you are not in fact, surrounded by assholes’.

If you’re the smartest person in the room, you’re in the wrong room.

If someone is always surrounded by drama and its one nightmare after another, and they’ve been repeatedly supported to get out of their drama but it persists, give up trying to be their savior sooner rather than later. They only have drama in their life and that’s why they keep it around. After all, without it what would they be left with? If you don’t move away fast enough, they will take a part of your soul with them.

People who are being a pain are carrying pain. Ask yourself why someone might be behaving aggressively and unkindly before taking it personally. Its usually not about you, its about them.

If you have an invitation to something exciting and have a plus one, never invite that flaky friend who is always late and will leave you let down and stranded for the first half like Sally-no-mates. Invite a reliable mate. Life’s too short.

Have a small but loyal set of friends that are #rideordie, will listen to your trials and tribulations, knock you back down to earth if you get too big for your boots, (you’re never too big for the boot – Stormzy!), come over with tea, cake, crisps and cuddles when you have a life tragedy and accept you for all the crazy that you are. My girl friends truly are the family I chose. With a great set of friends you will never need therapy or expensive counseling.


Online bookings aren’t always cheaper than calling the airline directly. I’ve often saved hundreds by talking to a real actual human being. Virgin Atlantic definitely my fave all-round brand. Friendly, hospitable and fun to travel with. They have edible food, ice-lollies and in-flight massages and random fun.

Buy flights to depart on Tuesdays, Wednesdays or Saturdays – they’re usually much cheaper on these days of the week.

It’s ALWAYS worth checking in online 24 hours before the flight to grab the best seat. Do you really want to risk sitting next to the loo on a transatlantic flight.

When travelling never fold clothes. Always lay clothes in sets on top of each other (dresses / trousers / tee shirt) and then roll the clothes up into a huge Swiss roll and pack. This ensures crease-free clothing at your destination, as well as a deterrent for airport thieves to sneak a hand into your zipped up case and grab something quickly to steal.

Buy cheap Primark jewelry (or other cheap retailers are available), for beach and travel vacations so as not to bother worrying ‎about loss / theft of your sentimental valuables. Especially on tropical beach holidays where you will sky-line, scuba dive and inevitably lose or damage your diamonds. Lol. #CheapTrinketsAreUs

If you are ever transiting through South Africa, throw a strop in the office and insist that your production manager re-routes your transit to Namibia or frankly, anywhere on the planet. Suitcases left unattended in transit at Jo’burg airport are in mortal danger and will get sucked into the airport Bermuda triangle never to be seen again.

‎Where possible always negotiate a couple of extra days abroad after business trips. Business trips and weekends to far-flung places like Australia, Africa and the Caribbean for two days then flying straight back aren’t fun. And why not take advantage of the fact that your employer has already paid for the flights! YOLO

Always carry your teabags on vacation with you. Even one of my fave hotels in the world, The Carlton in Cannes doesn’t have real English Breakfast tea. It might say it on the packet or silver teapot, but its never really real. (My personal preference is Yorkshire tea).


There should be at least one password that no one close to you, or even your best mate that’s shared all your childhood secrets, should be able to figure out.

We pop our passwords into gadgets hundreds of times a week. So make your password is something that reminds you of a future life goal. It’s the best re-focus method ever. If you are entering a life goal into your mobile numerous times a day you cant go off track.

Double-check everything before blindly hitting ‘’share’’ on social media. Spreading fake news because it agrees with your political thinking or outrages you is the start of an unhappy, depressed mind. To my embarrassment, I have been guilty of this. Fake news is everywhere. Forget the days when the millennium was approaching and the world was doomed to end. The world is truly ending now.

It’s the universal law that if you haven’t backed up your phone data that you will lose it all when least expected. Set up auto-back-up on your devices regularly so you don’t lose or regret not planning ahead. My girl scouts days are always with me. Plan ahead. Be prepared. Fail to prepare- prepare to fail! Thanks Mrs Errington!

The stuff you see on social media is just a teeny percentage of what is reality in most peoples lives. Its curated, filtered and marketed like never before. Don’t compare your life to theirs. We ALL have our own THING going on.


Try not to turn up to people’s homes later than arranged and empty-handed. Even a last minute gift of nibbles, drinks or flowers say I appreciate your kind invitation.

If you are always attending other peoples homes and never invite them back to yours, that one-sided friendship might not be as equal as you think and the invites may start fizzling out. Unless of course your mates have screaming toddlers that need to be around their toys and sticky mess. Then they can always expect you to meet up with them for prosecco at their crib.

If you damage someone else’s property offer to replace it/ fix it immediately. I’ve lost count of the number of people who will stain your carpets with beverage spillages or break your chandeliers in an over excited moment of debate, and never offer to repair. This is why my dinner party guests can only drink dark/red drinks in the kitchen. Seriously I am THAT anal.

‎Be nice. For as long as possible. But if someone really oversteps the mark, it’s okay to turn into Godzilla. Karma is a bitch and bad behavior will always catch up with you. When responding to rude people take the high road. (see the recent Taylor Swift / Britney example) always be Britney.


If you’re putting a professional working team together, avoid friends. Or at least avoid friends that you have to drag to the table to be available. The business will flop and so will your friendship. Cut the losses early. You will keep it moving, the stagnant folk will always be stagnant and wonder why they never get ahead. If you are the stagnant one, sign up to a self – help daily free e-mail that may help you make better life choices. My favourite is Marc & Angel Hack Life.

‎The harder you work the luckier you get. Its easy to look on at the great breaks others get and wonder why it wasn’t you. They’re not lucky. They work hard. Great things happen when preparation meets opportunity.

If you want to work in media you have to be a tough cookie. Media folks don’t get sick often. We have shoots, deadlines and stories which can’t simply be take over by a colleague. Our exciting lifestyle means adrenalin keeps us healthy. No sick days on this HR record.

If you want to be a TV presenter NEVER say it out loud to a media professional. It’s like the kiss of death for us. It screams ‘I want to be famous’. Instead, show off your area of expertise and specialist skills and one day soon they’ll be inviting you to talk on the telly.

Incentive is everything. You can persuade anyone to do anything, if you make it hard for them to say no, by making them an offer they can’t refuse.

In employment, it would be nice if you could just be good at your job, but lets not pretend that overall presentation visually isn’t important. If you walk into work looking like you’ve been dragged through a hedge backwards, and your nails are a chewed,chipped mess or your body odour is on nauseating levels people will judge you. I’ve had to speak to two members of staff in two decades about BO and its awkward AF. Fix up, look sharp is not just a Dizzee Rascal song.

Always have a topical elevator pitch ready to go. You really will bump into your aspirational business guru one day and kick yourself later for being gob smacked. Yes, Oprah probably wasn’t most impressed with me and I spent a whole week in her company. #Fail

Be better than the rest. Why should people employ you to do an average job? Always go above and beyond what is requested and be the company ‘’can-do’’ person. I didn’t want to make a years worth of teas, coffees, photocopy scripts, pick up lunches, babysit staff kids, drive around picking up props, etc on The Big Breakfast but I did it and those early lessons bode me well. (After i went from runner to presenter, I made the producer that was always bitchy to me with her tea demands pay when she became my producer and roles were reversed. Once she was looking after me, I –in jest – teased her daily about JUST how I liked my tea!) #PayBacksAbitch

Understand boundaries. Agree to disagree professionally and don’t pull rank. That person you power-move over today may be your line manager next year. The industry is small, people talk. If you have reputation as being mean or unprofessional you can start queuing at your local benefit office now.

We all have the same 24 hours as Beyonce.


Be one with nature. I would be lost without my regular, weekend; early River Thames walks with my mates. We banter, share, debate and finish with brunch. Nature is hard to get at one with in a busy urban city, but park walks are free, instant therapy for a peaceful mind and soul. Don’t subscribe to what people have brainwashed you into believing are your natural ‘cultural stereotypes’. You’d never believe the things I was told by closed-minded folk when I was a kid…. I.e. ethnic people don’t ski / walk along rivers / go see the Northern lights. I do all that. I have brown skin. Deal with it.

There are 3 main fitness areas – strength, cardio, and flexibility. Don’t be the bulky ironman in the gym that can’t press your own body weight, do planks or touch your own toes. NO point in being able to lift a house if you can’t run for 5 minutes. Train using your own body weight as much as possible. No point lifting a house when u can’t do ten pushups!

All rich people’s living rooms look the same. Cream carpets / cream sofas. Lamps and candle sticks chandeliers with tones of caramel / brown / grey. (Unless you’re rock & roll and then a few Andy Warhol-esque family portraits and neon signs with naughty words mesh with pure white rooms). I made MTV Cribs, I’ve seen it all.

When throwing parties NEVER have a VIP section. Puffy taught me that. A VIP section immediately gives the party a ‘them & us’ vibe so no-one feels good. A party is for mingling, mixing and engaging with all. If you need a VIP area you’re hosting a bad party where you make half your mates feel inferior.

Consider a group lunch pool at work. Like a car-pool but better. Between your work colleague’s, shop for yummy, healthy food on a Monday from the deli and store in the work fridge space. Hummus, chicken, salmon, prawns, sweet corn, sweet potato, tomatoes on the vine, sun-dried tomatoes, beetroot, fancy cheeses, broccoli, asparagus, coleslaw etc. Every day you have a variety of healthy, diverse food choices and it costs us in our lunch syndicate one pound a day – really! (Beware the coleslaw fiend. Buy extra coleslaw for her, cos if it runs out she won’t be happy).

Try not to be a creative arts snob. There’s nothing worse than seeing early adaptors of tech, music and more scoff at latecomers. People access things at different times in different ways and we shouldn’t judge their journey. I once attended Glastonbury with a very famous person who was disgruntled at ‘’all these new Jay Z fans standing at the front, they should be made to go to the back cos they hadn’t even heard of him when I bought his first album!’. WTF. Seriously?

But do be a judgmental snob if you see Sharon and Tracy in the supermarket wearing pyjamas and Ugg boots screaming at their kids. Some things just make you shudder. Sorry, not sorry.

White vinegar is a God-send. Pop in the fridge to get rid of smells or in the kitchen a small cup will soak up cooking smells. It will also clean the bathroom better than many detergents.


Always keep a fab shoes and frock option in your car / under desk in case of last minute fab invites. I am ALWAYS ready for spontaneous activities and invites. My car boot has all my gym stuff and a pair of fancy shoes and frock. Always. This is the only life we have! (Unless you believe in an afterlife in which case, stay at home nightly cos there’s bad weather in London). See you in the afterlife. Or not.

Keep nail-varnish-free as often as possible to avoid yellowing nails. Or always use a base coat. Its worth not having witch talons in the future. If your nails discolor using red nail polish, soaking them in lemon juice usually sorts them out. There’s only one time of the year for witches and thats not everyday.

The best mascara brand is Rimmel. My preference is Rimmel Kate.

‎Never go make a beeline for the hottest guy in the room. He’ll be riddled with issues and insecurities. Go for the 3rd hottest. He will always be more grounded and likely a keeper.

Never moisturise hands and feet before a yoga class. You’ll slip & slide and binding poses will be impossible.

People say we live in an equal age where women can get up to the same as men and we all pretend its true. It’s not. We would like it to be so yes. Women will be judged for being sexually open / over promiscuous or bitches / bossy/ good bosses. You choose what seems to be appropriate and whether your life choice will ultimately be a positive or negative decision.

Ladies please wear shoes your real size. When did it become a thing to wear sexy heels that are a size or two too big and flopping off your heels as you walk? Weird.


Don’t be old-skool British in your thinking. We are far too modest and afraid to push ourselves forwards. Don’t think that by pushing yourself forwards you are being ‘’too much or too pushy’’. Shine as brightly as you can and don’t let others make you feel insecure about it. People offended by your light shining don’t have your best interests at heart. When i work with American and Asian colleagues they are pushing themselves, their brands and ideas daily, literally after I’ve just shaken hands with them.

Haters are a good sign. The more they hate the better you must be doing. Let the haters fuel your ambition. Yes haters, keep watching, i have much more for you.

Be ever-thankful for your mentors in life. Those that have supported and guided you through your journey. Mine were my ballet teachers Joan Crouch and Sara Ridley, my bosses at MTV Kim Luck, Will MacLachlan and Richard Godfrey, my former MTV SVP colleague- now life mentor Fleur Sarfaty and Channel 4 News’ editor/ now factual commissioner Shaminder Nahal. An amazing set of people that have inspired me to mentor downwards and pass on the good vibes.

Sometimes when you lose you really win. Job interviews / romances / opportunities. Trust me. Something better is around the corner waiting to scoop you up.

Video your loved ones in happy times. Ask them questions about their lives, hopes, dreams, and achievements. Once they’ve passed away, photos won’t be enough. It’s their voice and mannerisms you’ll miss most. Most importantly cherish your parents. You can never know the sacrifices they’ve made and how much they’ve worried about you.

Never believe people who are a hot organisational mess at home but insist that they are really organised at work. If you’re late, miss deadlines and have no manners consistently, this usually reflects across all your life areas. Fix up.

We all have our own crosses and burdens to bear. No ones life is perfect. It’s difficult to juggle family, life, career and love. We all go through pain. Don’t be afraid to share your anxieties. Once you share you will find everyone else shares theirs too. The saying ‘a problem shared is a problem halved’ is true.

In the last few years of my dad’s life when I was his sole carer I tried to juggle horrific carer and life scenarios. It was hell. Once I shared my woes with close friends, family and colleagues I was supported and informed of organizations that could help. We all have our ‘’thing’’ going on. Be kind to each other.

When you see injustice, are you brave enough to stand alone and voice your thoughts, to try and be that one small step that leads and builds movement and momentum to make society a better place?

Ask yourself “Am I willing to live a few years of my life like many people won’t, so I can spend the rest of my life like many people can’t”. If you’re not, then stop whining and stay in your lane.

Don’t be afraid to give out compliments to others if it instantly comes to you. See a classy woman, like her fashion, admire her hair, and love her speech? Tell her. Women supporting women is a great thing. We hear a lot about women putting each other down. Tell someone why they stood out to you. You will feel great. They will feel greater. People will forget what you said to them but never forget how you made them feel.

The world is your classroom. Travel as much as you can and see this amazing planet that we call home.

Happy International Womens Day 2017!

Jasmine’s Juice – Oscar Nominated Film LOVING Is A Must Watch!

“Why didn’t I know about this before?”
This is a common refrain heard when discovering human rights breakthroughs from decades past – and the love story of Richard and Mildred Loving has paved the way for many more since.

Loving is the new film from acclaimed writer/director Jeff Nichols (Take Shelter, Mud, Midnight Special). The Loving family story is reflected in a film out this week in the UK.

The film Loving celebrates the real-life courage and commitment of an interracial couple, Richard and Mildred Loving (portrayed in the film by Joel Edgerton and Ruth Negga), who fell in love and were married in 1958.

The couple had grown up in Central Point, a small town in Virginia that was more integrated than surrounding areas in the American South. Yet it was the state of Virginia, where they were making their home and starting a family that first jailed and then banished them. Richard and Mildred relocated with their children to the inner city of Washington, D.C. While relatives made them feel welcome there, the more urban environment did not feel like home to them. Ultimately, the pull of their roots in Virginia would spur Mildred to try to find a way back.
Their civil rights case, Loving v. Virginia, went all the way to the Supreme Court, which in 1967 reaffirmed the very foundation of the right to marry. Richard and Mildred returned home and their love story has become an inspiration to couples ever since. Loving began production in the fall of 2015. In a further emphasis on authenticity in recounting the Lovings‟ story, the movie was made on location in Virginia.

It’s no wonder that lead actress Ruth Negga has been nominated for an Oscar for Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role. Her southern American accent is scarily authentic and it was a total surprise to discover that she’s an Irish born and bred lass!

Loving is a film that’s mind-blowing when I consider how much of the population is mixed-race, inter racial, whatever term you feel comfortable using.
Most of my nearest and dearest are of mixed culture, creed and background and the idea that within the past century, their parents hooking up was illegal, is simply inconceivable.

Based in the state of Virginia, many are shocked to learn that this all took place in the past century, but interracial marriage is still frowned upon in some parts of the world, and considering the political world changes and President Trumps current journey, has much changed out there?

There have been a spate of inter racial relationship films being made in recent years, with A United Kingdom also being released this year too. It’s interesting that these tales are all coming the forefront at this politically unstable time.

Its also interesting that the Lovings fought to be married just a few decades ago yet now research globally shows that the sanctity of marriage is dying across the modern world. Its important that these hidden stories are told so that we can gain perspective on our parents and grandparents generations and the struggle and times that they endured.

I often wonder when it comes to life styles and law (gun laws, abortion rights etc), whether the UK are decades ahead of the USA, especially also in terms of interracial harmony and mixed marriages and families? Are Americans becoming less tolerant of ‘other races”?

For many years recently there have been numerous black stories and casts leading cinema narratives.
For a long time the stories were based around stories of suppression like 12 years a slave, Mandela, The Help and more.
I find it extremely refreshing that now the balance is also seeing historical inspiring tales like Hidden Figures becoming popular.

Richard and Mildred‟s history is now told anew by acclaimed writer/director Jeff Nichols in Loving. “I was struck by the simplicity of their beautiful love story,” says the filmmaker.
Richard, who was white, and Mildred, who was African-American and Native-American, were an ordinary couple from Central Point, Virginia. They decided to marry and start a family. Yet, at that time in Virginia, what they did was against the law and they were arrested soon after getting married.

As the plaintiffs in Loving v. Virginia, they were catalysts for the Supreme Court decision that abolished anti-miscegenation laws – or, laws against interracial marriage – in the United States. In establishing marriage as a fundamental right, Loving v. Virginia is still frequently cited in court cases today, including in challenges to gay marriage bans.

But the Lovings were not activists; they merely reasonably expected that their fully legal marriage in Washington D.C. would suffice for them to live peacefully in their hometown of Central Point. Initially, they made no appeal after they were arrested for violating Virginia‟s anti-miscegenation laws, and agreed to a plea bargain that effectively banished them from their home state.

When the Lovings finally sought legal aid in 1963, their sole aim was to be able to get back to – and live in their – home. It was only in 1965, at the urging of their attorneys Bernard Cohen and Philip Hirschkop, that the couple agreed to go public with their story and talk to the press. After the Supreme Court handed down its decision in their favor in June 1967, the Lovings went back to their everyday lives and to raising their three children in Central Point, and rarely gave interviews.

In 2008, the surviving member of the couple, Mildred, passed away. Reading about Mildred, documentary filmmaker Nancy Buirski was moved by the Lovings‟ unshakable devotion to one another – and by the contemporary relevance of their case. Buirski decided to make a documentary feature about Richard and Mildred Loving. Her research led her to television news producer Hope Ryden, who had spent hours filming the Lovings at home in 1965 and then returned in 1967 for ABC-TV to profile them on the eve of the ruling. That footage and other archival resources, including luminous photos by Life Magazine photographer Grey Villet, were utilized by Buirski in writing, producing, and directing The Loving Story.

The Lovings‟ surviving child, Peggy Loving, was a consultant to the production. She visited the set and was struck by how thoroughly the actors had channelled her parents – in character and in costume.

The documentary played at festivals in 2011 before being shown on HBO on Valentine‟s Day, 2012. It won a Peabody Award and an Emmy Award, among other honors, and captivated audiences and critics alike with its depiction of a committed and courageous couple who, above all else, were very much in love.

One of those captivated viewers was Academy Award-winning actor Colin Firth, who was already aware of the documentary; Buirski had been in contact with Firth regarding a feature version of the story after learning from Firth‟s wife Livia of his interest in American politics and social history. By 2009, Buirski and Firth were brainstorming a narrative structure and began working on a screenplay.


In January 2011, Firth called Buirski to tell her that he was teaming with Ged Doherty to launch a production company, Raindog Films and that as a first project, he had brought up to Doherty a narrative feature version of The Loving Story. Buirski remembers, “Colin had just won the Golden Globe Award for The King’s Speech but I was the one who was overjoyed!” Buirski remembers.

Doherty remarks, “Colin was very taken with the simplicity of the story, with how this ordinary couple made a huge difference in the lives of other couples.


“After watching the documentary, I became obsessed. I literally did not sleep for 48 hours because I was looking at everything I could find online. Yes, this was a landmark legal case, but first and foremost at its heart it was a beautiful love story. Colin and I felt more people worldwide should know about the Lovings, and we were determined to tell their story as a dramatic feature based in part on Nancy‟s documentary.”
The next step was to find a writer and director. When the three producers saw Jeff Nichols‟ Mud at a specially arranged screening in 2012, they sensed that the filmmaker‟s cinematic sensibility and intuitive depictions of Southern men and women would be ideal for the film they wanted to make.

Doherty adds, “We also watched Take Shelter. With Jeff’s work the tension and drama are rich and often are in what is not said; he conveys so much with just a look to the camera or a shot of a landscape. We felt that would suit Richard and Mildred Loving, and the character of people that they were.”

Having already made three feature films, Nichols had not considered writing or directing a film that wasn’t a product of his own imagination. Still, he agreed to consider the project – and its story, which intrigued him.
Nichols watched the documentary and noted the import and continuing positive impact of Loving v. Virginia. But he was most drawn to Richard and Mildred’s quiet determination to live and love as they chose.


Negga had been deeply affected by The Loving Story. She explains, “I thought the documentary was brilliant and I couldn’t believe I hadn’t heard of Richard and Mildred before. I was completely fascinated, not only because Loving v. Virginia was a landmark civil rights case, but also because theirs is the most beautiful love story. Their story just stayed with me. All Mildred wanted was to be able to be married to the man she loved. Not every hero has a loud voice.

“Jeff’s script tells the story of two people in love, not two activists – even though they did change the course of American legal history. I feel that all of his films are about everyday people.”
Once she had gotten the script pages, the actress holed up in her L.A. hotel room for three days to prepare, trying to channel Mildred as best she could. She reports, “I watched the documentary over and over again and worked on those scenes from the script like I had never worked on anything before. I felt such an affinity with Mildred and I couldn’t imagine not playing the part.”

‘Loving’ film’s portrayal of interracial marriage is relevant today and I have all my fingers and toes crossed for February 26th in hope that Negga wins the Oscar she so very dearly deserves.

Jasmine’s Juice – RTS Futures (Royal Television Society) ULTIMATE Careers Fair 2017.


The RTS Futures annual careers fair was the ULTIMATE TV careers fair this year, with just under 1000 young people from all over the UK attending the new location for the fair – Islingtons Business Design Centre.


Every UK TV broadcaster attended with a stall, where they exhibited their TV brand and informed inquisitive young people about the opportunities up for grabs in TV world all across the country.

As well as stalls around the circumference of the hall, there were new areas like the ASK ME ANYTHING area where TV staff from all across the industry fielded hundreds of questions from people all day about their jobs. Costume designs from dramas, make up for TV experts, exec producers, development teams, commissioners and so much more answered anything you’ve always wanted to know about getting a job in the industry.

On the other side of the hall was the extremely popular CV CLINIC, where TV professionals were happy to advise and consult (for free) for all those that had remembered to bring their CV’s along and whip them into tip-top condition.

As if that wasn’t enough, off in a side hall were the best hourly panel sessions, which were fascinating!

Experts from all across the industry spoke about various themes such as ‘how to spot talent’ and more.

It was media gold info that even seasoned professionals in the industry could’ve learnt from.

RTS Futures Chair and TV legend Donna Taberer oversaw the very successful day that was even trending on twitter!



The wonderful ITV news host Charlene White popped by and volunteered to take questions for 20 minutes in a moment I dubbed #60SecondsWithCharleneWhite


As if that wasn’t enough to keep us all occupied all day from 10am when the doors opened until 7pm when we had to throw people out, there were also a guest appearance from the incredible TV magician Dynamo, who also spoke about how he and his tenacious manager Dan Albian had managed to break into the industry, and take the Dyanmo brand to its now, global success, (you can read that whole interview very soon in The National Student magazine online).

Everyone commented on what an amazing day it was both for TV broadcasters looking to recruit new, young talent, as well as young people being a lot more focused and gaining clarity on all their questions around the industry.


Attendees even got to sit in the Game Of Thrones throne (I had my breakfast in it at 10am) and Viacom (MTV/CHANNEL 5/COMEDY CENTRAL/ NICKELODEON) even had a ring light GIF stand where we were all very silly posing and shrieking with laughter.


The day was a perfect microcosm of telly world. We talk- a lot- meet new people, get offered stuff, agree to stuff, reject stuff, ask more questions, talk a lot, pose, roar with laughter and have a great time. No two days in media are ever the same. It’s the best job in the world!

Attendees this year also heard from apprentices past and present as they talked about their experiences of applying, what they did during the scheme and what they’ve done afterwards.
So whether you want to get into development, become a journalist or want to do the artwork for productions like Channel 4’s Indian Summers, there’s a scheme for you!
Join us next year at the RTS Futures ULTIMATE Careers Fair 2018!

Follow @RTS_Futures on twitter.


Jasmine’s Juice – G.O.A.T (Greatest Of All Time) Sneakers Exhibit – The Archivist ,Haggerston.

The G.O.A.T Sneakers exhibit was a fun, fab and educational spot to check out.
The exhibit is on for another week and if you’re a trainer freak you won’t want to miss it.

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The exhibit showcases the most classic era of trainers. The most popular, the most valuable, the history behind them, political stories, hip hop anecdotes, it’s really entertaining and informative.

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Apparently this is what the inside of a trainer obsessed collector’s mind looks like;
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Lets cut to the chase. This is what you came for. Here are the top trainers of all time- I knew adidas would top the list!

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So many fascinating stories, like the one about the two feuding brothers who launched adidas and puma.

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We were informed about facts like adidas WEREN’T the first to launch stripes sneakers…Screen Shot 2017-01-27 at 15.55.53

but this was one of the very first EVER trainers made. #AdidasSamba

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Here are the runners up that DIDN’T make the winners list.
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There’s lots of info on your trainers that you never knew! Who knew!
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Fascinating stories and info about one of the biggest inspirations behind a ”sneaker”

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…and even outrageous product placement issues that made the brand bigger..

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Owning cool kicks is an obsession. I have around 100 easily.

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I have trainers that are this old from the 80’s- really.

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And i was one of the first to have these when they made a comeback….

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The G.O.A.T wore adidas.

Jasmine’s Juice – The BRIT Awards 2017 – Finally A True Reflection Of The UK Music Scene.

The BRIT Awards 2017 - The BRITs Are Coming - Nominations Launch, The (ITV) London Studios, Saturday, 14, January, 2017, Photo Credit: John Marshall - jmenternational.com

The BRIT Awards 2017 – The BRITs Are Coming – Nominations Launch,
The (ITV) London Studios,
Saturday, 14, January, 2017,
Photo Credit: John Marshall – jmenternational.com

All images courtesy – John Marshall.


So this time last year, there was uproar on both sides of the pond when the #oscarssowhite and #britssowhite tweets were bouncing across the globe demanding more diversity and an equal playing field for everyone.
Very quickly both brands responded by re-hauling their voting academies, and whilst there was much cynicism on the part of the public, music and film industries and indeed the new panelists themselves, this week, within just a few months, it was proven to have worked.

In one of the most clear and powerful case studies to date about how diversity strategies work, the UK’s BRIT Awards (British Record Industry Trust), which is the biggest music show from the UK that airs globally, has stepped up to the plate, acknowledged its short-comings and made positive change.

The BRIT Awards 2017 - The BRITs Are Coming - Nominations Launch, The (ITV) London Studios, Saturday, 14, January, 2017, Photo Credit: John Marshall - jmenternational.com

The BRIT Awards 2017 – The BRITs Are Coming – Nominations Launch,
The (ITV) London Studios,
Saturday, 14, January, 2017,
Photo Credit: John Marshall – jmenternational.com


A few months ago myself and many other names like singer Lily Allen and grime star Stormzy, joined in the heated debate as to why the BRITs never seemed to acknowledge the British black music acts that came from rap and grime backgrounds. One famous female black music act was run into the ground on social media for her colour blind comments which suggested that there was no problem.

In a few months the umbrella brand that runs The Brit Awards – The BPI – has removed around a third of the more stalwart voters on the academy who were no longer involved in the UK music industry, and added a fresh line up of younger, more female and more voters from ethnic backgrounds (including me- I ticked every box!) that were more representative overall of the UK’s make up, leading to a totally different type of line up of star name nominees acknowledged this year.
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Photo image – Monique Richards.

This weekend, the BRIT Awards revealed in a live show televised across the UK on ITV, its 2017 nominees and boy was it a revelation! The nominee make-up was totally different to previous years where we were more used to, erm, a certain type of act from a very specific background getting a nod of honour.

The BRIT Awards 2017 - The BRITs Are Coming - Nominations Launch, The (ITV) London Studios, Saturday, 14, January, 2017, Photo Credit: John Marshall - jmenternational.com

The BRIT Awards 2017 – The BRITs Are Coming – Nominations Launch,
The (ITV) London Studios,
Saturday, 14, January, 2017,
Photo Credit: John Marshall – jmenternational.com


Following these changes, there are over 20 nominations for BAME artists at this year’s awards. BAME names like Craig David, Kano, Michael Kiwanuka and Skepta have all been nominated for the best British male category alongside David Bowie whilst Nao, Emile Sande and Lianne La Havas are nominated for best British female, while Stormzy who called the awards “embarrassing” last year for ignoring grime artists, has been shortlisted for best British breakthrough. A big difference.

The BRIT Awards 2017 - The BRITs Are Coming - Nominations Launch, The (ITV) London Studios, Saturday, 14, January, 2017, Photo Credit: John Marshall - jmenternational.com

The BRIT Awards 2017 – The BRITs Are Coming – Nominations Launch,
The (ITV) London Studios,
Saturday, 14, January, 2017,
Photo Credit: John Marshall – jmenternational.com


This year one of grime music’s biggest names – Skepta – is a leading name with three nominations. This, after years of most UK black music acts as well as the grime music genre being totally over-looked. Skepta shares this top-billing with the UK’s biggest girl band, pop starlets, Little Mix who also lead with three. The band will also perform at this year’s ceremony as well as The 1975 and Emeli Sandé.

Skepta’s three nominations are for British Male Solo Artist, British Breakthrough Act and Mastercard British Album of the Year for the critically acclaimed album ‘Konnichiwa’. His first ever BRIT Award nominations follow a phenomenal year including his highest ever chart success.

After the nominees were revealed Skepta co-signed his manager Grace Ladoja’s social media comments, who wrote in a post: “They have to accept us as equals… They have to accept there is a new blueprint in music.”

The journalist’s cliché ‘’only time will tell’’ applies here if you’re wondering whether Skepta will be Craig David-ed. Yes I did just use Craig David as a verb here. In the last 16 years poor Craig has been nominated for a grand total of 16 BRIT Awards and won….none. In the launch show this weekend just gone Craig performed alongside his peers Christine and the Queens, Calum Scott and Critics’ Choice Winner Rag’n’Bone Man.

The BRIT Awards 2017 - The BRITs Are Coming - Nominations Launch, The (ITV) London Studios, Saturday, 14, January, 2017, Photo Credit: John Marshall - jmenternational.com

The BRIT Awards 2017 – The BRITs Are Coming – Nominations Launch,
The (ITV) London Studios,
Saturday, 14, January, 2017,
Photo Credit: John Marshall – jmenternational.com


One winner from this years show has already been announced. Brits Critics Choice winner is Rag’n’ Bone Man (Rory Graham). Before being lauded as a singer / songwriter, Rory was actually a drum n bass MC from the jungle and pirate radio scene and also worked as a carer before eventually getting into the blues. He is refreshingly un pop star-like with his very dad-like physique and image.

David Bowie and Leonard Cohen have both been recognised posthumously. The late Bowie, as expected, received two posthumous nominations in British Male Solo Artist and Mastercard Album of the Year with Leonard Cohen receiving his first BRIT Award nomination in International Male Solo Artist.

Two nominations each go to The 1975, Kano, Michael Kiwanuka, Calvin Harris, James Arthur, Clean Bandit, Jonas Blue, Tinie Tempah and Coldplay and amazingly, Sisters Beyoncé and Solange go head to head in the International Female Solo Artist category. See, when you include younger, more connected, streaming, engaged music lovers who are much more in tune with the population’s tastes you are left with a vastly different final result. The bottom line here is that small steps count and even if these more ‘diverse’ acts don’t win thats no problem, at least they are finally being recognized.

Also receiving two nominations each are Kano (British Male Solo Artist, Mastercard British Album of the Year), and Michael Kiwanuka (British Male Solo Artist, Mastercard British Album of the Year) and The 1975 (British Group, Mastercard British Album of the Year). The melanin just keeps on coming. This years nominees do really feel like a more balanced, realistic reflection of what’s really popping in the UK music scene.

The BRIT Awards 2017 - The BRITs Are Coming - Nominations Launch, The (ITV) London Studios, Saturday, 14, January, 2017, Photo Credit: John Marshall - jmenternational.com

The BRIT Awards 2017 – The BRITs Are Coming – Nominations Launch,
The (ITV) London Studios,
Saturday, 14, January, 2017,
Photo Credit: John Marshall – jmenternational.com


Its not just the nominations that reflect a forward looking brand. The BRITs are also acknowledging the digital world domination, by naming not the usual FM radio stations of yesterday as media partners, but Apple Music as the official music streaming and download partner for this years event.

BRITs Chairman Jason Iley (who must’ve been relived that all was finally well and healthy with his brand) gushed: “The 2017 BRIT nominations reflect a diverse and rich year in music both in the UK and internationally. Huge artists from the past, present and future are represented. From pop, to indie, to grime, to rock; it’s a brilliant and varied roll call of talent – a fantastic showcase for what’s happening in music right now.”

The BRIT Awards 2017 - The BRITs Are Coming - Nominations Launch, The (ITV) London Studios, Saturday, 14, January, 2017, Photo Credit: John Marshall - jmenternational.com

The BRIT Awards 2017 – The BRITs Are Coming – Nominations Launch,
The (ITV) London Studios,
Saturday, 14, January, 2017,
Photo Credit: John Marshall – jmenternational.com


A few years ago we would’ve moaned and complained behind closed doors about the lack of diversity at brands and known that nothing would change. However the Internet and social media has turned that notion on its head. People powered change is a thing. In a few moments a hash tag can spread around the world and we have the Internet to thank for making our universe a smaller, more connected planet. One small step at a time, we can change things to be equal for us all.

As my fellow Capricorn King Martin Luther King said ‘’commit yourself to the noble struggle for equal rights. You will make a greater person of yourself, a greater nation of your country, and a finer world to live in’’.

About BRIT – British Record Industry Trust
It’s important to understand how these brands and voting academies work. The BRIT (British Record Industry Trust) Awards are organised by the BPI – the record labels’ association that promotes British music. The BPI’s membership is made up of over 370 independent labels as well as the UK’s three major record companies – collectively they account for over 80 per cent of the music consumed in the UK and around one in six of all the artist albums sold around the world. 2017 will celebrate the Awards 37th show since its debut year in 1977 (which was followed by a short break of a couple of years).

The BRIT Awards have established themselves as a global music institution that annually celebrates UK chart and commercial successes. Last year (2016) The BRITs celebrated an incredible night in British music with Adele picking up four Awards as well as giving a show stopping performance.

The Awards raised an incredible £265k for Nordoff-Robbins Music Therapy and The BRIT Trust from live performance downloads and streams from the ceremony. The BRIT Awards annually raises funds for The BRIT Trust charity, whose main beneficiaries are the BRIT School for Performing Arts & Technology, Nordoff-Robbins Music Therapy and other selected charities. To date, over £16.8million has been raised for The BRIT Trust charity.

Over 8,000 young people have been given free education and the opportunity to enter the BRIT School since its opening in 1991 and more than 10,000 children and adults have been helped by the extraordinary music therapy work carried out by Nordoff-Robbins.

The BRIT Awards 2017 with Mastercard will exclusively broadcast live on ITV – on Wednesday 22nd February 2017 from The O2 Arena, London

Jasmine’s Juice – R&B Icons Joe And Ashanti Are Coming To The UK!

So a quick win for Christmas presents on my side are tickets for music shows and one just popped up that i know i will be gathering a huge group together for a fun night out.

R&B LEGENDS JOE & ASHANTI – are coming to the UK and Live in Concert for two big dates.

Saturday 25th February 2017 at the O2 Academy Birmingham & Sunday 26th February 2017 at the Hammersmith Eventim Apollo London.


The two mega US R&B icons of the ‘90’s and the early 2000’s will come together for the first time in history for the first major R&B concert of 2017 and I for one am getting out my old albums from both artists to get myself ready.

I first met Joe at his very first London showcase at The Tabernacle in Notting Hill Gate. I remember it to this day. He wore really ridiculously baggy jeans, a red sweatshirt and a Tupac-esque bandana as he serenaded us with his hits from ”My name is Joe”.

After that I met him on numerous occasions for MTV News interviews, Christmas and New Years in Acapulco with Mariah, and he even came to one of my annual birthday parties in Kensington the same year as Usher and just got down with the vibes. A true legend. I can still play his albums back to back and sing along all day long.

Joe is a Grammy nominated songwriter,and certainly needs no introduction to die hard R&B fans. Serenading true R&B and New Jack Swing lovers of the ‘90’s with his debut album ‘Everything’ and hit song ‘I’m In Luv’; his second (sophomore) album, ‘All That I Am’ in 1997, earned him his position, as the King of R&B.

With over 14+ years of ground breaking and heartfelt ballads and songs, 12 albums and more than 15 million records sold, Joe has became the voice of many men and women in love, with some of his biggest songs of his career including ‘Don’t Wanna Be a Player’, ‘Stutter’, ‘If I Was Your Man’ and ‘Thank God I Found You’ featuring Mariah Carey and Nas.

Set to hit the stage performing his R&B classics and songs from his 2016 12th studio album, ‘#MyNameIsJoeThomas’ including his rendition of Adele’s diamond selling single ‘Hello’ and debut single off the album ‘So I Can Have You Back’.


Grammy award winning singer Ashanti is one of the most successful female artists of the millennium. Stepping on the scene with successful collaborations with Hip Hop heavyweights Fat Joe’s ‘What’s Luv?’ and Ja Rule’s ‘Always on Time’, followed by her triple platinum self titled debut album – ‘Ashanti’; the first lady of Murder Inc, released unforgettable hits such as, ‘Foolish’, ‘Happy’ and ‘Baby’, becoming the second artist of all time after The Beatles to have ever had their first three chart entries simultaneously in the top 10 of the Billboard Hot 100.

I first met Ashanti when Ja Rule and Irv Gotti introduced her to me many years ago at MTV. She was always TV ready, media trained yet fun and totally professional and fun.
I also filmed a few VMA shows with her in New York where we had fun during sound check breaks.


The talented songstress will return to the UK for the first time in three years and is set to release her upcoming sixth studio album in 2017.

It’s always a risk to see our Nineties legends in concert so many years after their hey-day in case they do a K Ci and let us down, but i can honestly say i know this will be a great gig. Both acts have pipes for days and would never knowingly be anything less than great live onstage.

It’s time to celebrate the amazing music of these two legends in one night, taking you from the 90s, right through to the noughties!

Tickets for this EXCLUSIVE show start from £32 and will be available to purchase at www.ticketmaster.co.uk, www.ticketweb.co.uk and www.eventimapollo.com from Friday 16th December 2016.
See you there!

Jasmine’s Juice – Digital iS Media Awards 2016!

All images – Richard Pascoe Photography / Digital iS Media Awards 2016.

Last night, hundreds of future leaders from the UK’s untapped digital world gathered at the May Fair Hotel in central London, to celebrate the biggest movers and shakers online from the past twelve months.

Awards show hosts; Joivan Wade , Percelle ‘Percy’ Ascott and Dee Kaate.

The ceremony was hosted by Joivan Wade (Doctor Who, E4 Youngers and Wall of Comedy), Percelle ‘Percy’ Ascott (Silent Witness, Wizards v Aliens, and Wall of Comedy) alongside Dee Kaate (Wall of Comedy) – who were previously collectively known as Man Dem On The Wall.

Presenters on the night included BAFTA Award winner Noel Clarke, who presented Gal Dem with Favourite Arts & Entertainment/Lifestyle Site/Mag.

Global producer and hit maker Naughty Boy presented the Favourite Web Series Actress to Ola Adaeze, star of Boxx.

Breaking the mould in radio broadcast were winners Not For The Radio who picked up Favourite Online Talk Show. With their basic panel set-up of four presenters interviewing one solo music star for over an hour, they have de-bunked everything that media content makers are told about creating short, snappy, highlights. NFTR viewers are tuning in and staying logged into these long informal chats for up to two hours at a time!

The NFTR award was presented by Jodie Abacus – the hot new soul sensation named by Elton John as ‘one to watch’ for 2017.

The coveted Favourite Web Series Ensemble Award was went to A Lesson Learnt, presented by actor Kofi Abrefa, best known for treading the boards at The National (A Taste of Honey) and staring in Channel 4’s future robot saturated world – Humans.

Gal Dem winners!

Hood Documentary were the big winners on the night taking home two awards for Favourite Web Series and Best Web Series Actor, which went to Kayode Ewumi. The spoof documentary follows wannabe Grime MC Roll Safe as he guides viewers around the ‘hood’.

Media Industry Key Influencers Attend The Evening To Check Out The Talent.

A Dot Comedian,a talent who I’ve known since his early days when he was hustling the underground comedy scene, is known for his theatre shows, MTV and ITV credits, and won Favourite Online Comedian.

Google’s Social Media Manager Mercedes Benson presented an award on the night.

Charles Thompson MBE,is the man and founder of the Screen Nation Awards (over twenty years ago) and more recently the Screen Nation Digital iS Media Awards (in 2014). Charles is at the vanguard of celebrating and giving a voice to a ‘hidden community’ – a subject that my London360 reporters have just made a TV special about for Community Channel (SKY,Virgin, Freeview) and London Live, titled ‘London Undercover’, so it’s an area getting much focus currently.

Aaron Roach-Bridgman Presented The Honorary Awards.

When Charles launched the Screen Nation Digital iS Media Awards three years ago to recognise and reward excellence, from this ‘hidden community’; literally millions of online Black British talent, YouTube superstars and business entrepreneurs had already saturated the digital landscape. Even major brands like Huffington Post have a Black Voices brand – they understand this is a rapidly growing, very economically-strong demographic with a commercial mind-set.

This hidden community with it’s DIY ethos, is made up of millennials who are creating vlogs, blogs, news platforms, apps, games, comedy and web series which are being viewed by millions of other millenials globally, yet are practically ignored by the UK mainstream media.

KSI for example, is a black Londoner who is one of the biggest web stars on the planet. Do you think he’s a household name? No. Yet when I attended his recent film premiere at the O2, hundreds of young people were hysterically screaming for him and his peers. The adults? No clue.


The #DigitaliSMediaAwards has been the only awards show to recognise these talented young stars and give them validation and it’s growing annually.

For example, nominated for the Digital Achievement Award was Fanbytes, which reaches millions of millennials and is the UK’s largest social video platform. Forbes described Tim Armoo and Ambrose Cooke, the duo behind Fanbytes as ‘the millennials redefining how brands market to other millenials’. These innovators count huge brands like Disney, adidas, New Look, Go Pro and Nickelodeon as their clients.


Emerging YouTube stars such as King Cas, (who can count BAFTA winning actor John Boyega as a fan) had over 2 million views on Facebook for his first show, yet you would struggle to find him featured in any mainstream media or Kayode Ewumi, 22 year old, comedian, creator and star of Hood Documentary. The online series was so successful it has now been commission by (ironically, now, an online platform) BBC Three.

A vast array of talent is being ignored by the old school media gate-keepers, yet this talent is clearly an enormous force to be reckoned with, commanding both trendsetting power and as well as tremendous influence.

Internet stars Tights and Kay persuade me – actually not much persuasion was needed- to act a fool.

I’ve mentioned this repeatedly in the past in my past columns but all too often UK media often questions whether we need the MOBO awards, Asian Awards, BUFF Film Festival, Screen Nation Awards, British Black List, Screen Nation Digital iS Media Awards? Yes we do, for without these, all of this great talent would continue to go unrecognised and more importantly championed the way ‘the rest’ are.

Jasmine with The Colour Network co-founder – Annika Allen.

Take Annika Allen, the Co-Founder of The Colour Network which is an online TV platform commissioning its own content from new digital stars of the future.

Or Dionne Grant, a former editor at The Voice news paper who has now left the old school print press brand, to set up her own news platform titled The Young Empire.

The Awards, now in their third year, were established to celebrate innovative Black talent in new media: web show creators and content makers, who write, cast, shoot and edit live on location on their mobile devices, bluetooth the content back to a live gallery for airing on mainstream broadcast networks as well as their own YouTube channels. A double win.

These superhero digital creators then market their content via social networks such as Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Periscope and more to generate voluminous fan bases all across the globe.

So the next time you’re sitting comfortably watching your favourite weekly soap on a mainstream channel, think about the digital monster that has its tentacles spread across young peoples eyes, ears and hearts.

There’s a movement that’s been going on right under your noses. Are you a part of recognising it’s power and journey and jumping on board? Or will you be crushed under it’s momentum and force as it sweeps past you into the new age?

#DigitaliSMediaAwards /#DigitaliSMediaAwards2016


Favourite Web Series Actor
Ishmael Majid – Levelz
Kayode Ewumi – Hood Documentary – WINNER
Khaleb Brooks – Boxx
King Cas – New Skool Life
Kingsley Amadi – Spin (Season Finale)
Michael Gyekye – How Did We Get Here
Stephen Boyce – How Did We Get Here
Sylvester Akinrolabu – A Lesson Learnt

Favourite Web Series Actress
Joanne Sandi – A Lesson Learnt, TV Footballers
Kamara Bacchus – How Did We Get Here
Linda Adey – Dear Jesus
Natalie Gumede – Sally the Life Coach
Olu Adaeze – Boxx – WINNER
Scarlett Carter – A Lesson Learnt
Vanessa Donovan – Shrink

Favourite Web Series Ensemble
A Lesson Learnt S1 – Wondervision Films – WINNER

Boxx S1 – Joi Productions in Assn with Plot Lost Prods
Concealed S1 – Sandra Koree/Clever Lens Media Production
Dear Jesus S4 – Wonderlondon
Levelz S1 – Paul Opara, Shawn John, Malik Marli/Ezeo Media
New Skool Life S1 – Street Seven Films
Spin S2 (Season Finale) – Spin Drama TV

Favourite Web Series
A Lesson Learnt S1 – Priscilla Owusu, Danny Wonders/Wondervision Films
Boxx S1 – Joy Gharoro-Akpojotor, Yrsa Daley-Ward/Joi Productions in Assn with Plot Lost Prods
Dear Jesus S4 – Danielle A Scott-Haughton/Wonderlondon
Hood Documentary S1 – Tryrell Williams/TkCreatives – WINNER
Hot Pepper S1 – Destiny Ekaragha/2far Films
How Did We Get Here S2 – Cardy Films/Bwng
Shrink S1 – Katrina Smith Jackson, Trish M. Chanda/Auteur Vision Media
TV Footballers S1 – Matthew Allick, Chris Alozie/Allick Productions

Favourite Short Film
Deep It – Dir. Teddy Nygh / Prod Nick Bedu -WINNER
Fabric of The Royals – Dir./Wri. Verona Rose
New Beginnings – Dir Nicole Volavka
The Works – Dir./Wri. Elliot Barnes-Worrell
Wild in the Wind – Dir./Wri. Ejiro Okorodudu
Wilton – Dir./Wri. Cecile Emeke

Favourite Online Comedian
A Dot Comedian WINNER

Arnold Jorge
Ds Rants’n’Bants
Tommy Moutchi
Uncle Rafool

Favourite Podcast
3 Shots Of Tequila – https://soundcloud.com/3shotsoftequila WINNER

Artistic State Of Mind – https://soundcloud.com/artistic-state-mind
Half Cast/Chuckie Online – https://soundcloud.com/chuckieonline
Melanin Millennials – https://soundcloud.com/melaninmillennials
Mostly Lit – https://soundcloud.com/mostly-lit
Tea And Biscuits – https://soundcloud.com/tea-biscuits-1

Not For The Radio


GRM Daily


Kayode Ewumi

Olu Adaeze

A Lesson Learnt


Deep It

A Dot Comedian

3 Shots Of Tequila

Not For The Radio


GRM Daily

Digital Achievement (honorary)
Steven Bartlett
Timothy Armoo & Ambrose Cooke

The London360 junior interns Miranda, Kavita, Rute, Eunice, Cleo), were on hand with social media all evening and #DigitaliSMediaAwards was trending!