Tag Archives: UK

Blessing Chitapa wins ITV’s The Voice

Blessing Chitapa performing on The Voice

Zimbabwean teenager Blessing Chitapa has emerged as the winner of the ninth season of singing competition television show The Voice UK.

Having performed well during the blind auditions, Chitapa blew pop star and The Voice judge Olly Murs away with her rendition of I’d Rather Go Blind by Etta James. Murs, being the only judge to turn his chair around, automatically became her mentor.

Following a fierce singing battle against three other competitors – Jonny Brooks, Brooke Scullion and Gevanni Hutton – Chitapa came out tops. She sang Robbie Williams’ Angels, James Bay’s Hold Back The River and a duet with Murs.

Chitapa said: “I am so proud of how far I have come and I’m so intrigued to see what the future holds for me! I’m hoping my new single, Angels, can bless and inspire people to think about a certain someone in their life who has always been there for them.

“Winning the competition is my biggest achievement yet. It has been an honour and my privilege and it has been unforgettable.”

The Voice UK is based on Dutch talent show The Voice of Holland, which was created by John de Mol (Big Brother) and is produced for ITV by ITV Studios. The ninth season started airing in January this year but the semi-final and final were delayed by Covid-19 until this month.

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Script to Screen returns for seventh run

Abuja-based High Definition Film Academy (HDFA) is preparing to launch the seventh edition of its reality TV show on March 24.

Script to Screen aims to train filmmakers by helping to develop their skills through direct mentorship and tasks.

Some 60 participants have been chosen from more than 20,000 applicants. Auditions were held in Nigeria, Ghana, South Africa, Kenya, US, UK and Canada.

According to the organisers at the HDFA’s production arm, High Definition Film Studio, this year’s edition will tackle the issue of corruption in Nigeria, with the theme Corruption-Free Nigeria.

Participants will be divided into four teams that will undergo intensive training and lecturing from various mentors. They will also work with the organisers of the show to produce short films featuring top Nollywood actors.

Eviction will be held bi-weekly and viewers can vote for their favourite team. Participants with the lowest performance will be evicted by a jury.

Script to Screen’s 2018 jury and facilitators include Nollywood actors and producers such as Blossom Chukwujekwu, Nse Ikpe Etim, OC Ukeje, Bright Wonder, Teco Benson and Kalu Ikeagwu.

Asides from the filmmaking training, participants will also be lectured by MacArthur Foundation representatives on the issue of corruption in Nigeria.

Script to Screen’s finale will feature the premiere of six short films produced by the teams. The leading films will be awarded in categories including Best Screenplay, Best Filmmaker, Best Actor and Overall Best Short Film (Team Award). Each award comes with cash prizes.

The show begins on March 24 and ends on April 21 and will air on TV channels including Wazobia Max, STV, AIT and Africa Magic.

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Nigerians named on UK’s Powerlist 2019

Mo Abudu: “I am honoured and humbled to be included.”

Several influential TV executives of Nigerian heritage have been included in a recently published list of the most powerful black Britons.

Tunde Ogungbesan

The selection was based on how influential they are among their immediate sphere of expertise and how far that influence reaches into the wider world.

The Powerlist has been compiled every year since 2007 by London-based Powerful Media, with support from JP Morgan, Ernst & Young, Linklaters and the Executive Leadership Council.

Among the 100 people in the 2019 list are Mo Abudu, CEO and executive chair of Nigerian broadcaster EbonyLifeTV; Tunde Ogungbesan, the BBC’s head of diversity and inclusion; David Olusoga, historian, filmmaker and joint creative director of London production company Uplands Television; and BBC TV presenter and actor Ade Adepitan.

David Olusoga

The Powerlist 2019 was unveiled at a gala dinner held on October 23 in London. The list showcases and celebrates African and Afro-Caribbean men and women who are making an impact on people’s lives and their environment.

According to Abudu: “The Powerlist is the most authoritative recognition of black influence in the UK; therefore I am honoured and humbled to be included. It’s nice to know that those of us who return home to make our contributions are not being overlooked.

Ade Adepitan

“This publication is sent to schools and universities all over the UK, so I hope that my story can influence even one child to follow their dreams,” she added.

Now in in its 12th year, the Powerlist has succeeded in creating a network of influencers and also elevating ordinary people to a state of prominence.

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Nigeria BBC’s biggest non-UK market

UK public broadcaster the BBC has said Nigeria is the biggest market for its World Service (BBCWS) offering.

Jamie Angus

According to the recently released Global Audience Measure (GAM), the corporation reaches a weekly audience of 376 million, up three million since last year, across all its services outside the UK.

The BBCWS has seen its weekly non-UK audience rise 10 million to 279 million since 2017, while the weekly non-UK audience for BBC News rose a million to 347 million over the same period.

The report shows how many adults the BBC’s international services have reached in the first half of 2018 compared with 2017. It also said that with the growing number of cheaper smartphones, the BBC has been able to expand viewership via its digital platforms, as a total of 27 million people opt for the BBCWS English service via the internet.

Nigeria was revealed to be the largest market for the BBC’s international news services, consuming the most of the BBC’s content with an audience of 41 million. The US comes a close second with 33 million users. After that is India (30 million), Bangladesh (16 million), Egypt (16 million), Iran (13 million), Afghanistan (12 million), Tanzania (10 million), Pakistan (nine million) and Indonesia (eight million). BBCWS’s audience is aged between 15 and 24.

GAM statistics also revealed that just under 40% of the adult population of Nigeria consumes BBC News in some way.

Jamie Angus, director of the BBCWS Group, said: “This has been an exciting year for the BBC World Service, with the launch of 12 new services, new programming and the opening of new and expanded bureaux across the world. So it is great to see international audiences continuing to turn to the BBC for independent and impartial news.

“The figures highlight not only the successes of our global news operation, but the challenges that lie ahead for us. We still need to grow the share of women engaging with our news services globally, and we need to ensure we have the right services to continue to attract young audiences.

“At a time when Britain is forging a new relationship with nations around the world, the BBC’s global news services are more important than ever.”

In February, BBCWS launched two new local-language service in Africa, Yoruba and Igbo, some 60 years after it launched the Hausa service. A month later, it opened its West Africa bureau in Lagos.

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Dog racing net heads to Nigeria

Greek gaming company Vermantia has teamed up with the UK’s Arena Racing Company (ARC) to launch a live greyhound racing channel in Africa.

The two companies have partnered with Nigerian betting site Yangabet to broadcast the channel in Nigeria, with the network focused on a daily schedule of greyhound racing. This content comes from accredited UK and Australian greyhound tracks, enabling betting on at least 120 live races per day.

Vermantia and ARC said the service would be the first live greyhound racing channel in Nigeria. The move comes several months after an exclusive deal was agreed between Vermantia and ARC to distribute the latter’s racing content worldwide.

Antony Hopkins, ARC’s director of international markets, said: “Our premium greyhound content is already adopted by major UK and international operators, and adding Africa to our reach is a further testament of its value and global appeal.”

The channel will be powered by Vermantia’s Connect platform, comprising live video and racing data from more than 4,500 greyhound racing fixtures in the UK and Australia.

The channel will be delivered to betting shops using Vermantia’s high-efficiency video coding (HEVC) technology, allowing maximum broadcast quality at minimum satellite bandwidth, according to the company.

Vermantia said it will provide a fully populated odds service, seamless integration with any bet acceptance system and automated scheduling capabilities in the production.

“We are delighted that through our recent cooperation with ARC, we will be launching the first live greyhound racing in Africa,” added Spyros Stavropoulos, Vermantia’s key accounts director.

“Our offering is uniquely positioned to meet the market’s demand for a new live product for all types of players, by enabling betting on a comprehensive schedule of races throughout the day that are both frequent and fast, easy to bet on and exciting to watch.”

Yangabet started operations in May 2017 and offers an online portfolio of products including sports betting, lottery, online casino and more than 50 virtual games. The launch date of the greyhound racing channel is yet to be released.

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