A bit knackered but very proud of the Akwaaba volunteers today. For obvious reasons we couldn’t run our usual Sunday social drop-in session for refugees & asylum seekers, but instead the community pulled together and adapted to prepare and distribute more than a hundred cooked meals and takeaway food parcels to families & individuals struggling to meet basic needs during the pandemic, those in situations of destitution and homelessness who may not otherwise get a decent meal all week. Thank you to our hosts St Paul’s West Hackney Church for putting us up, food donors including @nandosuk & Rahim’s Wholesalers, the wider Akwaaba community and of course real life superhero chef Yusuf ❤️
If you’re feeling down about the gravity of our current situation, I hope you can find some light in the support and sense of community being shone everywhere. Sending you love and positivity, happy Sunday, peace out ✌🏽

A bit knackered but very...

s t a y i n g p o s i t i v e

In difficult times we’re incredibly lucky to have this platform as a resource and crutch. It’s so heartening to see outpourings of positivity & support being shared online. Here are some ideas to look after our physical & mental health during isolation. 💃🏾 DANCE - The happiest exercise!I’ve found tons of free, at-home dance workouts on YouTube and will keep posting links every day for you on stories (even if you don’t try them you can laugh at my moves). You don’t need equipment or much space. There’s Soca, Salsa, Street, Ballet, Reggaeton, Commercial...such a joyful way to keep active and get your cardio in, whether you follow choreography (picking up steps for the club after all this is over) or totally let go (party for one in the kitchen since we ain’t going out these days)! 📝 LOCKDOWN JOURNAL - Journalling is usually something I do sporadically for my mental health on down days, as a way of articulating feelings and ordering thoughts. If you’re anxious or uncertain at the moment, or your head’s scrambled from the bombardment of news, take a bit of time each day to just get it all out onto paper: as long or short as you want/need, doesn’t have to be high literature just a stream of consciousness or recap of what you did that day. It’s cleansing, helps give you perspective, re-centres and is a great creative outlet. 📸 DAILY SNAPS - Just as it’ll be interesting to read back your journal entries in future, why not accompany with a pic a day, for a snapshot of your own experience of history as the global situation shifts & develops so rapidly. Even better if you can put your phone down and take a non-digital image on a polaroid or disposable camera if you have one. Been enjoying  pritsticking my @instaxhq pics next to each day’s journal entry #sticky 👌🏽 ☀️🧘🏽‍♀️ - This might work for you: take a deep breath in for a count of 10, hold for 10, then out for 10. Repeat 10 times: v calming. I’ll also post good yoga, Pilates, barre & meditation videos to follow that will hopefully help you refocus. Take your outdoor exercise allowance & GET THAT ONCE-A-DAY VIT D GODDAMNIT! 📞 KEEP TALKING - One word: Houseparty.

#stayhome

s t a y i...

In difficult times of relentless, overwhelming news coverage it’s more important than ever to make sure we’re getting the facts straight. I’ve been working on this project with @bbcbitesize to help kids and teens (& parents!) spot misinformation & stop the spread of fake news. If you or your kids have been distressed by the rolling headlines, please check out the swipe up link in my story or visit the @bbc Bitesize website and share. In tumultuous circumstances like the #coronavirus pandemic, let’s ensure we digest news healthily, share it responsibly and use it effectively, so we can all take the correct advice and actions #factorfake

#fakenews #bbcbitesize #covid

In difficult times of relentless,...

‘To describe my mother would be to write about a hurricane in it’s perfect power. Or the climbing, falling colours of a rainbow’ - Maya Angelou.

So many of us are apart from our mother figures today, but the outpouring of love is palpable and beautiful. Happy Mother’s Day mum, I wish I could be with you, you deserve the world, thank you for being our rock, for the strength, the power, the words of wisdom, the hugs, the dancing, the chats til 5am, the long walks to see the special cows (they were ponies) and your favourite tree. Thank you for the world and thank you for our family.

‘To describe my mother would...

This slipped under my door 🖤 
Let’s pay it forward and support our neighbours.

Ways to help? -Covidmutualaid.org is an initiative to bring volunteers together with those who may be vulnerable or in need of support in your local community. -Workforce have been contacted by several NHS Trusts to help find people willing and able to work in roles in overstretched hospitals (call 01204 393 000 or 07494 129014)
-Choose Love this Mother's Day if you're looking for a self-isolation friendly gift. My friends at @chooselove / Help Refugees and their grassroots network are doing everything they can to ensure that refugee mothers have the supplies they need to keep their families safe and well in these scary times as camps are overcrowded and unsanitary so it's more important than ever for us to do what we can. You can buy a basic wash bag complete with soap, sanitiser and all the other essentials, a month's supply of nappies or a whole bundle of love. There's also an ecard so if you're not seeing you mum you can send it to her!
-I will keep posting links every day to great at-home, free dance and workout videos so you can keep mentally and physically healthy while self-isolating. Also you can laugh at my moves, which may help 🤷🏽‍♀️💗 If you liked the look of today’s @socanomics dance class, join @selenawatkins insta live session tomorrow, we can all have an Caribbean dance party in our living rooms, isolated, together. -A tip: use tins of baked beans as dumbbells.

This slipped under my door...

Happy 60th Birthday to a Geordie legend and the man we love the most. Thank you for loving us back so fiercely, for caring so deeply, for sharing your wit, intelligence, passion and humour with the world, and for giving us your everything every day #kingnige

Happy 60th Birthday to a...

#frockdown

#frockdown

We’re back on @channel4 with more @crufts coverage and my heart is so full 🐕🐩🐶🥰😍😘 Thank you so much @sunsetandvinetv for so perfectly producing this canine celebration, fabulous @drpaul_thevet & lovely @dogtoradem you’ve been brilliant and I’ve learned so much! And @abbiemaymua for the entire weekend I love ya 💗

We’re back on @channel4 with...

Fix up, look sharp

A blog about my brand new 4Music show

After AWOLling around on the blog front, I’m posting TWO IN A DAY, because I’m cray like that, and also because the other one was getting really long and I really couldn’t live with myself having put anyone through the ordeal of reading loads of stuff about all different things. This blog is just about one thing, and one thing I’m really excited about…

I’m popping up every day on 4Music, presenting the new look music and entertainment news bulletin, The Fix. The early show, The Breakfast Fix is made up of three separate bulletins (one with the top showbiz news stories, one specialist looking at film releases, new videos, fashion, or celeb relationships, and one focussing on the hottest event of the day) which broadcast three times an hour all morning. A longer bulletin then plays every hour throughout the rest of the day and the evening all over 4Music, Heat TV and The Box. I research and write the stories, head into the massive (frankly, way too big for just me on my own, chatting to myself, I look like a mad person) ITV News studio 2 over at ITN, record all the shows then produce and edit them myself before delivering them to the channel. All in a day’s work. It’s nice because it feels like it’s my baby.*

On a Thursday I also record a longer half-hour weekend show, The Fix: Your Weekly News Buzz. This is my pick of the top stories and best celeb interviews we’ve covered that week, put together by my brilliant producer Simon, linked in to music videos, and which broadcasts on Saturday and Sunday mornings. It’s probably on in your gym. You can have it on in your living room too, if you want.

Here are a selection of pictures of the faces I unwittingly do when I talk, it appears (taken, in the most hi-tech manner, by TAKING AN ACTUAL PHOTO OF THE SCREEN I AM WATCHING):

*A sentence I uttered the other day and which was met by bemused, slightly disgusted faces. Come on, people!
P.S. And to prove it:

 

XOXO
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