Spoken word series hosted by Benjamin Zephaniah wins Bafta award for best entertainment programme
Life & Rhymes, a four-part spoken word series on Sky Arts that was filmed during lockdown in a London park, was a surprise winner of the Bafta best entertainment programme award on Sunday night, beating more well-known contenders such as heavyweights Strictly Come Dancing and Ant & Dec's Saturday Night Takeaway.
The programme's host, poet Benjamin Zephaniah said at the ceremony: "Thank you so much Sky Arts for being so brave and so pioneering, putting on British TV the first spoken word poetry show. We're so proud of it. We gave voice to diverse people from all backgrounds in a time of lockdown. We gave voice to a community that needed to be heard."
Each 26-minute episode sees Benjamin Zephaniah introduce a set of poets who perform their own work, along with a performance from Benjamin himself. Sky Arts said: “Over four episodes the poets explore the biggest topics in the world today, including racism, gender, sexuality and mental health.”
Each episode also featured an open mic section, where a number of randomly selected audience members were given 60 seconds to share their own spoken word performance. Filmed during lockdown in Battersea Park, in south London, the poets perform from the park bandstand for a small, socially distanced audience.
PHOTOGRAPH: SKY ARTS