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Former Harrow College student lands his own BBC documentary

Rising British actor and former Harrow College student, Ricardo P Lloyd, investigates what it means to be black and working in the entertainment industry in a new documentary called ‘My Name is Ricardo P Lloyd’, out July 18th.

The documentary, which will be aired on BBC Radio 4 and BBC Sounds, is to be presented by Lloyd, a former performing arts student from Harrow College.

Ricardo tells Harrow Online that the show will “explore race and representation in UK theatre, television, and film.”

In the documentary, Ricardo also examines his own journey, inspirations, and aspirations, as well as the accompanying struggles and structural barriers for black people in the UK’s industry.

Throughout the programme Lloyd interviews thought leaders and prominent figures in media such as Dr Clive Nwonka, Lecturer at UCL’s Institute of Advanced Studies; Actor Tobi Bakare (Death in Paradise, Kingsman: The Golden Circle), and Clint Dyer, Deputy Artistic Director of The Royal National Theatre.

A common theme that emerges throughout the documentary is the well-trodden path from the UK to the US for black actors that are seeking greater opportunities in their careers. Lloyd, who has himself considered the transition, and his guests discuss the UK’s position in the global media ecosystem and how it can foster a better environment to retain black talent.

“I have been very bold in speaking up on the issues of race and representation in the industry in the UK because I felt I had no choice but to address them.” said the former Harrow student.

“Rather than wait until I am older and more established to speak out, I am risking my own career in the hope that it will inspire and empower future generations. There are many barriers I have personally faced, some known and some unknown,” commented Lloyd.

Former Harrow College student, Ricardo P. Lloyd. Credit: Tamzin Morris

Lloyd says that he has had a passion for acting from a young age, often doing impersonations ranging from the local train conductor to Bob Marley, and was inspired by trailblazer Sidney Poitier to pursue his talent at university.

Despite facing what Lloyd describes as “frustrating stereotyping and bias” throughout his career so far, Lloyd is a rising star in British theatre and was named one of the “Top 20 ones to watch out for” by The Voice in 2020.

“I hope that this documentary will not only shed some light on the challenges that many people of colour have to deal with daily, but that those in positions of power will respond with real, tangible changes.

“I want to see the industry celebrate black talent instead of pushing actors out. Representation at all levels should be the goal, not just tokenism,” added Lloyd.

The documentary will premiere on BBC Radio 4 and BBC Sounds on July 18.