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.


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...



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...


A blog about some recent work stuff that had nothing to do with your license fee.

It is May at the end of this week, so obviously* it’s time for a couple of work updates for anyone remotely interested. I’ll be brief.


The beginning of the month saw Loose Women taken off the air for two weeks (yes, it was temporary, you can breathe a sigh of relief) to make way for ‘O’Brien’, a pseudo-political debate show hosted by LBC’s James O’Brien, broadcast during the lunchtime slot on ITV as the run-up to the election gained momentum. I was asked to appear on the show’s panel as a commentator from ‘youth media’, alongside Lib Dem MP Norman Lamb, broadcaster Janet Street-Porter, media personality (and wife of Neil) Christine Hamilton, NHS representatives and critics, filmmaker Peter Bach, private paramedics, a drug dealer, a mother who’d lost her daughter to an overdose, sufferers of two terminal illnesses, ‘self-medicators’, plastic surgery recipients, the guy who owns the club where that girl gave a ton of blow-jobs for a free cocktail, a couple of ex-Big Brother contestants and an incredible gent called Sean Attwood who spent six years in one of the most dangerous prisons in America for drug trafficking and who is now an activist for rehabilitation efforts in the penal system, amongst many others. It’s probably worth noting that this was for an episode focussing on questions of whether drunk people should be admitted to A&E and whether drugs should be legalised**.

The show was probably best described as ‘Newsnight meets Jeremy Kyle’. There was a lot of shouting, and some excellent insight from supremely interesting people wonderfully mixed up with a good number of admittedly terrible points made by really dubious people. There were heartbreaking stories, and stories which made me want to cry for all the worst reasons. It was a brilliant experience, a good opportunity to talk about something that’s not Justin Bieber or Kim Kardashian, and I was particularly stimulated during the hour before recording spent in the green room with Norman, Peter, Sean, Dr Bob Gill, a paramedic and charity worker, where I learned so much about the state and machinations of our health service, as well as engaging in the most eye-opening conversation about the frightening American penal system.

My main points made on the show: Anger at ‘contingency plan’ attitude of certain audience members towards using A&E for stomach pumps; observations on the hypocrisy of attitudes towards coke consumption given catastrophically brutal drug war in South America. The main Twitter reaction to my contribution: Neon pink Nike Air Max and Fresh Prince shirt were well liked. Oh well.

*You’d be forgiven for thinking this is not an obvious thing at all. You’d also be right.

**NOT an episode on social media and the cult of celebrity, which gave cause for a very swift rethink on the train up to Media City of what I was going to say… It’s cool, it’s cool: celebrities & Twitter / NHS & the drug war; swings / roundabouts.


In other news, I’ve been further terrorising ITV’s network of channels recently, swooping back onto ITV2 to interrupt your evening films (sorry***) with a bit of showbiz news. Vastly different content to the above. Similar feedback. Will be back on the channel for a couple of weeks at the beginning of next month (yep, May, it’s happening). Tune in, ya filthy animals.

With thanks to @HPRLondon for the clothes from Mink Pink, Some Days Lovin and Paint It Red.

***Not sorry.


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