HIDDEN CARDIFF WITH WILL MILLARD
BBC One Wales and BBC Two network, 2017. Co-pro with Folk Films.
Adventurer and writer Will Millard investigates Cardiff’s hidden history in this urban exploration of the Welsh capital. On an exhilarating and sometimes dangerous journey, Will goes in search of the lost stories that shows how Cardiff went from a tiny town to the thriving city it is today. From concealed tunnels to nuclear bunkers and from covered canals to derelict buildings, Will has unprecedented access to discover long-forgotten gems that reveal the city like you’ve never seen it before.
Directed and produced by James Hale Edited by John Gillanders Exec-produced by Steve Robinson
Roots Reggae Rebellion
Commissioned by Jan Younghusband for BBC television, Lazerbeam's first production aired on BBC Four in November 2016.
"A timely and reassuring documentary about how music can lead to political change" The Guardian
"The best, most intelligent programme on television this week" The Observer
Pick of the week, Daily Mail and The Times
In the 1970s, Jamaica came alive to the sounds of roots reggae. British rapper, poet and political commentator Akala tells the story of this golden period in the island's musical history, a time when a small group of musicians took songs of Rastafari, revolution and hope to the international stage.
Growing up in London, Akala's family immersed him in roots reggae from an early age so he has a very personal connection to the culture. It has informed his own songwriting, poetry and political worldview, but it's an upbringing that he now feels he's taken for granted.
In this documentary, Akala sets out to find out more about the music that has had such an impact on his life. He begins by exploring the music's origins in Jamaica where it offered hope to ordinary people at a time when poverty, political violence and turmoil were ravaging the island. Artists like Bob Marley, Big Youth and Burning Spear began to write about suffering and salvation through Rastafari in their songs. Akala unpicks how all of this evolved.
Back in the UK, Akala reveals how the Jamaican artists and our own British roots reggae bands like Steel Pulse became a cultural lifeline for young black people who were experiencing racism and rejection in their own country. He shows how roots reggae also related to a wider audience, its revolutionary message connecting with an increasingly marginalised UK youth.
Co-written and presented by Akala
Co-written, produced and directed by James Hale
John Gillanders – Editor
Emma Haskins – Production Manager
James Hayes – Executive Producer