Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

We Need to Keep Our Top and Talented Actors Right Here in Britain

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

We Need to Keep Our Top and Talented Actors Right Here in Britain

Article excerpt


I'M hoping the new series of Homeland will be as mesmeric as its predecessors but I'll miss David Harewood, the man once hailed as the 'best British actor of his generation'.

The producers were mad to blow him up. Few of his many admirers realise that the suave deputy Director of the CIA is a Brummie, born and bred.

Sadly, like many other fine black actors ... Idris Elba, Chiwetel Ejiofor, David Oyelowo, two of them in the running for awards... he had to leave Britain to achieve stardom.

Britain nurtures black talent but then seems not to know what to do with it.

Years ago, watching one of my plays recorded for BBC radio, I reflected that a black actor playing the husband of a white wife seemed entirely natural in sound and in flesh but on film it would have become the focal point.

Why? David Oyelowo says: "Up until now, the British film industry has said: 'There isn't an audience for black films. We don't have the actors.' "Hopefully, some producer will soon prove him wrong.

ACHANNEL 4 broadcast from the Syrian suburb of Moadhamiya showed starving children and desperate parents because Government check-points won't allow relief into a community which has been under siege since April.

Thousands of people face death by starvation unless the international community acts but, as the mission to destroy Syria's chemical weapons begins, that international community is saying 'Problem solved!' Tell that to the babies whose heads seem huge compared with their shrunken frames.

Soon they will be too weak to cry so that will bring peace of a sort.

"We won't allow them to be nourished in order to kill us," said one government soldier.

"Let them starve for a bit, surrender and then be put on trial." The 'them' he is talking about includes those babies.

The Arab Red Crescent has attempted to enter Moadhamiya seven times this year but has been turned away each time by military checkpoints.

The head of their disaster response unit says "The international community needs a slap on the face to wake up.

If they claim to be working for the well-being of the Syrian people, then help us get in."

But there will be no international intervention, not even pressure.

And to think I once saw the UN as a powerful force for good!

I'M beginning to realise what Coalitions are for. They exist so that each side can blame the other for anything unpopular and then claim credit for everything of which the public approves.

Once you realise that that is their sole purpose you feel more comfortable with the idea that the country is being run by people who couldn't actually get a mandate.

Until you assess the chances of getting a proper government next time. Then you get depressed again.


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