SVoD takes international rights to Candice Carty-Williams’ debut

Déja J Bowens

Déja J Bowens

Netflix has joined BBC1’s Candice Carty-Williams drama Champion as a co-producer.

The SVoD has taken the international rights to the Queenie author’s debut TV project, with original series managers Alice Pearse and Tom Lyons overseeing the project.

It will star Déja J Bowens alongside Malcolm Kamulete (Top Boy, Ill Manors), music sensation Ray BLK (also her TV debut), Nadine Marshall (Sherwood, Small Axe), Ray Fearon (His Dark Materials, Beauty and the Beast) and Jo Martin (Doctor Who, Top Boy).

Balloon Entertainment and New Pictures’ 8 x 45-minute musical drama, in association with All3Media International, was unveiled by former BBC director of drama Piers Wenger in May 2021 as part of a six-strong scripted slate which also included Everything I Know About Love.

Champion tells the story of what happens when fame collides with family after rapper Bosco Champion returns home from prison, ready to dominate the music industry, only to be overshadowed by his younger sister Vita.

Carty-Williams said the show is a celebration of black music.

“Since I knew what music was, I’ve loved grime and UK rap and neo-soul, to the point of obsession, and to bring to BBC1 in the UK and Netflix globally a series that gives these genres of music life and texture is my dream, as is working with some of the best producers and songwriters making music today to create original tracks for the show.”

In August, Channel 4 ordered an eight-part adaptation of Carty-Williams’ Queenie from Steve November’s Further South Productions.