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BAFTA Award winning Sky Original Life & Rhymes returns for a second series on Sky Arts

18/06/2021

BAFTA Award-winning spoken word series Life & Rhymes will return to Sky Arts, the UK's only TV channel dedicated to arts and culture, later this year. The Sky Original series, hosted by acclaimed British writer and poet, Professor Benjamin Zephaniah, sees some of the country's leading spoken word performers and select members of the audience showcase their lyrical creativity on topics such as racism, gender, sexuality and mental health. The first entertainment show of its kind, Life & Rhymes celebrates the art of spoken word and brings it to a mainstream setting.

Phil Edgar-Jones, Director of Sky Arts and Entertainment, said:

Life and Rhymes is a true original - placing performance poetry on the pedestal it deserves. It's vibrant and relevant and provides a powerful platform for many voices to be heard, all under the nurturing gaze of Benjamin Zephaniah who's a God.

The first 4x26 minute series of Life & Rhymes was filmed during lockdown in front of a live socially distanced audience in South London's Battersea Park. The second series will return to Battersea Park and will air this autumn.

Professor Benjamin Zephaniah, said:

Im looking forward to presenting a new series of Life and Rhymes. Giving a platform to people to speak their truth through poetry and the spoken word, is a joy. Its a programme with no ego. Its a programme about people. Its the programme Ive waited all my life to present. Its good to be home.

Life & Rhymes triumphed at the BAFTA Television Awards earlier this month where it won the award for Best Entertainment Programme, beating off competition from Ant & Dec's Saturday Night Takeaway (ITV), Strictly Come Dancing (BBC) and The Masked Singer (ITV).

Life & Rhymes was commissioned by Zai Bennett, Managing Director of Content for Sky UK and Ireland and Phil Edgar-Jones, Director of Sky Arts and Entertainment. The commissioning editor for Sky is Barbara Lee. Isaac Nartey, a Sky Academy Leader in the young people department at Sky, also gained Associate Producer and Co-Creator credits on the programme for his lifelong passion to showcase the much-underrepresented genre.

Life & Rhymes is co-created by Bob Clarke and Isaac Nartey. The series is co-produced by CPL Productions, a Red Arrow Studios company, and Licklemor Productions, owned by MAMA Youth Project. Executive producers are Murray Boland, Danielle Lux, Sharon Ali for CPL Productions and Bob Clarke for Licklemor Productions.

All episodes of Life & Rhymes S1 are available on Sky Arts and streaming service NOW.

The next series of Life & Rhymes will air on Sky Arts, free for everyone to watch on Freeview Channel 11, this autumn.

Notes to Editors:

For more information, please contact:

Lucy Butterfield

lucy.butterfield@sky.uk

Gehan Bashmailah

gehan.bashmailah@sky.uk

About Sky Arts

Sky Arts exists to bring more art to more people across the UK. In 2020, with the creative industries under serious threat, we threw open our doors to make the channel free for everyone to watch. We've redoubled our mission to increase access to the arts and we're committed to getting everyone involved as the industry recovers. The fact is, we need the arts now like never before, and Sky Arts brings them straight to your living room.

We have something for everyone, championing creative talent by showcasing the best in music, theatre, dance, literature, opera and visual art. From Glyndebourne to Grime and C zanne to The Style Council, we've got your passions covered. Millions of viewers tune in to hit returning series such as Portrait Artist of the Year, Urban Myths and British cultural institution The South Bank Show, but our acclaimed new programmes might take you anywhere from Pinter's house with Danny Dyer to a Scottish road trip with Samuel Johnson.

Collaboration is at the heart of what we do. Sky Arts is the headline sponsor of National Theatre Live in the UK and we work with cultural partners across the country including the English National Opera, Royal Academy of Arts, Tate, Creative Industries Federation and Coventry City of Culture to name but a few.

You can watch Sky Arts for free on Freeview channel 11 and Freesat channel 147. If you've got Sky or a Now TV entertainment pass, you can also watch over 2,000 hours of shows exclusively on demand.

We're passionate about supporting the next generation of artists, so we're working with five leading Sky Arts Ambassadors: Booker Prize-winner Bernardine Evaristo, dance artist Akram Khan, conductor Charles Hazlewood, Theatre Royal Stratford East Artistic Director Nadia Fall, and sculptor Anish Kapoor - to run bursary schemes for new and emerging talent.

About MAMA Youth Project

MAMA Youth (MYP) is a registered charity specialising in TV production based in Sky UK campus in Osterley. MAMA Youth Project was set up to provide training and opportunities to, mainly young people (18-25yrs) from Black, Asian & Minority Ethnic groups; White Working Class, disadvantaged backgrounds, those of any background that have faced trauma or a major challenge, and those with limited education or employment who have an interest in TV or the media industry, as well as to those who simply want to change their lives for the better. The charity is also committed to working with the media industry to help achieve the industrys frequently stated aim of becoming more diverse and therefore more representative of the audiences they serve. Previous awards include The Princess Royal Award, RTS Award, and Business in the Community Award. To date, MAMA Youth Project has helped 570 young people change their lives and become role models for those who are facing life challenges such as homelessness, poor mental health, ex offender and abuse.

About Licklemor Productions

Licklemor Productions is the commercial arm
LINK: https://www.skygroup.sky/en-gb/article/bafta-award-winning-sky-origina...
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