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Everything We Know About The BBC's 'Noughts + Crosses' With Stormzy

Everything We Know About The BBC's 'Noughts + Crosses' With Stormzy

Malorie Blackman's bestselling novel Noughts & Crosses was a English curriculum staple in the noughties.

Published in 2001, the first book in the novel series of the same name explored themes of forbidden love, race and class - and had school children and adults alike hooked from the very first page.

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Now, the provoking novel is being adapted by the BBC for a TV series slated for spring. And it looks amazing:

Set in a dystopian alternate universe where black ('cross') people rule one the white ('noughts'), the novel was borne from Blackman's desire to write about the lbrutal egacy of slavery.

However, it was a topic that initially left Blackman's peers cold. "They were saying, why do you want to write about that, it's so painful and so long ago," she told BBC.

"Then I thought - how can I flip it, and make the noughts the minority and the ones who are experiencing racism, the white people the ones who are experiencing racism. And so that's how the idea was born."

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'Noughts & Crosses' is set in a dystopian alternate history where black ('Cross') people rule over the white ('Noughts') people (Credit: BBC)
'Noughts & Crosses' is set in a dystopian alternate history where black ('Cross') people rule over the white ('Noughts') people (Credit: BBC)

The six-part series is written by Rachel De-Lahay (Kiri), Lydia Adetunji (Riviera) and Nathaniel Price (Tin Star) and from Mammoth Screen (Poldark).

Here's everything we know so far...

What is Noughts & Crosses about?

Set in an alternate history, in which African people won technological advantage over European people and made them their slaves, Noughts and Crosses centres of the lives of two lovers Sephy Hadley and Callum McGregor.

Although slavery has been abolished in the years its set, there's still social divides in which blacks rules over whites.

Sephy - a 'Cross' and member of the black ruling class - and Callum - a white 'Nought' - are forced to keep their relationship secret as interracial relationships are banned.

As a powerful rebellion mounts on e streets, the couple's passionate romance threatens to put their lives at risk.

Jack Rowan and Masali Baduza play Callum and Sephy, respectively (Credit: BBC)
Jack Rowan and Masali Baduza play Callum and Sephy, respectively (Credit: BBC)

Who is cast in Noughts + Crosses?

In November 2018, it was announced BAFTA Cymru award-winning Jack Rowan (Peaky Blinders) and Masali Baduza (Tracker) were cast as Callum McGregor and Sephy Hadley, respectively.

Also cast is Helen Baxendale and Ian Hart as Callum's parents, Meggie and Ryan McGregor, and Paterson Joseph and Bonnie Mbuli as Sephy's parents, Kamal and Jasmine Hadley.

Additional cast include Josh Dylan as Jude McGregor, Jonathan Ajayi as Lekan and Kike Brimah as Minerva Hadley.

What is Stormzy's involvement?

Stormzy will be making his small screen debut in the series as Kolawale, editor-in-chief of the Ohene Standard - a character created for the television adaptation.

Stormzy called landing a part in the adaptation a
Stormzy called landing a part in the adaptation a

The rapper, 26, previously said the role was a "dream come true" as a longtime fan of Malorie Blackman, having grown up reading her novels.

"As a diehard fan of Malorie's novels, being a part of this important show is a dream come true," he told BBC.

Stormzy included lines from the novel in his headlining Glastonbury set in 2019, while he signed Blackman's autobiography to his publishing company Merky Books, an imprint of Penguin.

Blackman spoke of meeting the rapper, saying: "Early last year I met him. He was just so wonderful and was telling me how he loved my books and grew up with them."

When is Noughts + Crosses coming?

The BBC confirmed Noughts + Crosses will be premiering on Thursday 5th March at 9pm on BBC One, with the full series available immediately on iPlayer.

This sounds like a must-watch.

Featured Image Credit: BBC

Topics: Entertainment News, TV and Film, Stormzy

Ciara Sheppard

Ciara is a freelance writer working for Tyla. After graduating with an English Lit and Media degree from the University of Sussex, Ciara held jobs at GLAMOUR and Yahoo Style before packing up for a solo travelling trip around South America.

 

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