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Women and BAME panel at heart of new ITV 2 quiz show

PROMOTING DIVERSITY: The panel team chaired by Jimmy Akingbola

IT LOOKS exactly like the panel shows we’ve all watched on our TV screens for decades – but look closer and viewers will see that this one has a clever twist.

Sorry I Didn’t Know just happens to be 85 per cent black and ethnic minority and has two female team leaders.

It’s quite a coup for ITV2, which has built on the success of last year’s ‘Fresh’ season which showcased a host of one-off specials featuring BAME talent both on and off-screen.

But there is nothing tokenistic about this, as Sorry I Didn’t Know producer Fraser Ayres, of Triforce Productions, told The Voice: “The beauty of Sorry I Didn’t Know is it’s just like any other quiz panel show – it’s brilliantly funny and non-apologetic – the questions just happen to be about black history. We’ve been a bit tongue-in-cheek and called it ‘history with a touch of colour.’

“Some people who’ve already watched it, don’t even realise the ethnic make-up until they’re five minutes in – that’s because it’s not just a black show for black people – it’s simply addressing the ridiculous lack of inclusion in mainstream panel shows.

He added: “It’s non-apologetic and confident and not ‘colonial.’ By that I mean it hasn’t been written by people from different backgrounds who think they know what black people want. It must be the first time in TV history where they have hired the people who are actually from the backgrounds they are trying to reach.

“ITV2, unlike some other channels is putting its money where its mouth is and encouraging inclusion. Their support for new production companies and their commitment to increasing access and diversity is truly pioneering. It’s all based on risk and trust.”

Directed by Menhaj Huda, who directed the 2006 film ‘Kidulthood,’ ‘Sorry I Didn’t Know’ includes some A-list names such as actor Jimmy Akingbola, who hosts the show, along with Chizzy Akudolu, Jo Martin, Jimmy James Jones, Toby Williams, Paul Chowdhry and Judi Love.

They form two teams who take viewers on a tour of black history across the globe. Insightful, educational, bold, tongue-in-cheek, and above all very funny, the teams will battle it out over four rounds as they unveil some interesting historical facts.

This year’s ‘Fresh’ series also contains one-off specials from Bentavision/Sugar Films, Purple Geko Productions and Transparent Television, covering a host of genres from mockumentary to scripted comedy.

Entertainment Commissioning Editor Asif Zubairy said: “We have four incredibly funny, edgy and innovative comedy and entertainment shows and are excited to be bringing these to the ITV2 audience.

“I’m thrilled that we are continuing our strong ties with BAME talent and offering a much-deserved platform for talent both on and off-screen.”

The programmes are being screened in the run-up to the MOBO Awards on ITV2.

Sorry I Didn’t Know will be screened on Thursday 3rd November between 8.30pm and 9pm.

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