How Reggie Yates went from kids’ TV to confronting neo-Nazis

Posted in Articles, Arts, Europe, Media Archive, Texas, United Kingdom, United States on 2016-07-10 19:57Z by Steven

How Reggie Yates went from kids’ TV to confronting neo-Nazis

The Guardian

Hannah J. Davies

Louis Theroux 2.0: Reggie Yates in a cell at Bexar County Detention Center.

He braves Russian far-right rallies and Texas prison cells for his job. Meet the man helping to reinvent the documentary for Generation Y

While filming in South Africa in 2013, Reggie Yates experienced the two scariest moments of his TV career to date. “The director, sound man and I got caught up in a fight between two gangs,” he explains. “One of the guys pulled out a gun and I thought: ‘All bets are off.’ We got out of there, but we met up with one of the gangs again later on in this little hut and they all had their machetes out. I thought: ‘This could go wrong at any minute,’ but it didn’t. I think a lot of that came down to the respect we showed them; I don’t wear a bulletproof [vest] in these places, because [that would be] saying that I don’t trust someone or I think I’m better.” He laughs before adding: “It could’ve been worse!”…

…Starting out as a child actor in 90s barbershop sitcom Desmond’s, he went on to work as a kids’ TV presenter alongside pal Fearne Cotton on shows including CBBC’s Smile. Then came a move into radio DJing on 1Xtra, before a gig as the anchor of Radio 1’s Official Chart Show. Somehow he’s also found time to voice cartoon rodent Rastamouse and appear in Doctor Who, as well as writing and directing his own short films (his latest, Shelter, stars W1A’s Jessica Hynes). It even transpires during our conversation that he’s a “massive interiors nerd”, who teases that he might one day open a furniture store…

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Race, sex, and colonialism

Posted in Africa, Articles, Biography, History, Media Archive on 2014-10-20 20:43Z by Steven

Race, sex, and colonialism

OUPblog: Oxford University Press’s Academic Insights for the Thinking World

Carina Ray, Associate Professor of African and Afro- American Studies
Brandeis University, Waltham, Massachusetts

DJ/Presenter Reggie Yates and Dr. Carina Ray review historical documents

As an Africanist historian committed to reaching broader publics, I was thrilled when the research team for the BBC’s genealogy program Who Do You Think You Are? contacted me late last February about an episode they were working on that involved the subject of some of my research, mixed race relationships in colonial Ghana. I was even more pleased when I realized that their questions about shifting practices and perceptions of intimate relationships between African women and European men in the Gold Coast, as Ghana was then known, were ones I had just explored in a newly published American Historical Review article, which I readily shared with them. This led to a month-long series of lengthy email exchanges, phone conversations, Skype chats, and eventually to an invitation to come to Ghana to shoot the Who Do You Think You Are? episode.

After landing in Ghana in early April, I quickly set off for the coastal town of Sekondi where I met the production team, and the episode’s subject, Reggie Yates, a remarkable young British DJ, actor, and television presenter. Reggie had come to Ghana to find out more about his West African roots, but he discovered along the way that his great grandfather was a British mining accountant who worked in the Gold Coast for close to a decade. His great grandmother, Dorothy Lloyd, was a mixed-race Fante woman whose father — Reggie’s great-great grandfather — was rumored to be a British district commissioner at the turn of the century in the Gold Coast.

The episode explores the nature of the relationship between Dorothy and George, who were married by customary law around 1915 in the mining town of Broomassi, where George worked as the paymaster at the local mine. George and Dorothy set up house in Broomassi and raised their infant son, Harry, there for two years before George left the Gold Coast in 1917 for good. Although their marriage was relatively short lived, it appears that Dorothy’s family and the wider community that she lived in regarded it as a respectable union and no social stigma was attached to her or Harry after George’s departure from the coast…

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Who Do You Think You Are? [with Reggie Yates]

Posted in Africa, Autobiography, Biography, History, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, United Kingdom, Videos on 2014-10-19 21:55Z by Steven

Who Do You Think You Are? Reggie Yates [with Reggie Yates]

Who Do You Think You Are?
Series 11: Episode 8 of 10
Running Time: 00:59:09
First Aired: 2014-09-25

Presenter and DJ Reggie Yates grew up knowing very little about his father’s side of the family. Reggie sets out on the trail of his grandfather, Harry Philip Yates. His journey takes him to Ghana, where he unravels a complex family history where Ghanaian culture and British colonialism collide.

[Features Fordham University history professor Carina Ray.]

For more information, click here.

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