The Women of Colour Radio Times Left Out


Radio Times is celebrating women in a major way with its list of 30 most influential women in British television and radio. The only problem: the list lacks diversity. There is only one woman of mixed heritage - Anne Mensah, Sky's head of drama - and then the diversity packs up and leaves. Here at AFRONOIRE, we have compiled a list of the 10 women of colour that deserve recognition for their talents and hard-work on and off-screen.

1) Zawe Ashton, Actress and Playwright

Zawe Ashton / Credit:

Age: 30 – Ashton is a force to be known. Her expanding acting career includes movies, plays and television shows. In 2012 and 2013, Ashton picked up awards for her role as Vod in Channel 4's popular comedy Fresh Meat and her leading role in Dreams of a Life.

2) Meera Syal MBE, Comedian, Writer, Playwright, and Actress.

Meera Syal / Credit:

Age: 53 – Syal has acted in over 50 films, 7 stage plays, and 14 television shows beginning around 1983. She has also written 2 novels, several screenplays and comedy shows for radio and television. In 2011–2012, Syal was appointed visiting professor of contemporary theatre at St. Catherine's College, Oxford.

3) Archie Panjabi, Actress

Archie Panjabi / Credit:

Age: 43 – Panjabi is a prominent actress in both television and film. Her role as Kalinda Sharma in the popular legal drama The Good Wife, has awarded her a Primetime Emmy Award and a several award nominations. She has been celebrated as one of "Eight Master Performers Who Turn Television into Art" by New York Times Magazine.

4) Angel Colby, Actress

Angel Coulby / Credit:

Age: 34 –  Coulby is best known for her role as Queen Guinevere "Gwen" Pendragon in the BBC fantasy series Merlin. She recently starred in the Golden Globe-nominated Dancing on the Edge alongside Chiwetel Ejiofor.

5) Debbi Tucker Green, Playwright and Screenwriter


Age unknown – Tucker is an award-wining playwright and screenwriter. She won the Laurence Olivier Award for Most Promising Newcomer in 2004. Many of her plays have been produced at the Royal Court.

6) Ruth Negga, Actress

Ruth Negga / Credit:

Age: 32 – In ten short years, Negga has made an impact in theatre, film and television. In 2011, she won the IFTA Award for Best Actress for her role as Dame Shirley Bassey in the BBC production Shirley. She also appeared in the Oscar-winning 12 Years a Slave.

7) Naomi Harris, Actress

Naomie Harris / Credit:

Age: 38 – Harris most recently played Winnie Mandela alongside Idris Elba in Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom. In 2015, she will be appearing in the Antoine Fuqua-directed South Paw, a film inspired by the life of rapper Eminem.

8) Bola Agbage, Playwright

Bola Agbaje / Credit:

Age: 33 – Agbage's award-winning play Gone Too Far! won the Laurence Olivier Award for Outstanding Achievement and has made Agbage a writer to watch. She is currently adapting Gone Too Far! into a feature film, soon to be released.

9) Wunmi Mosaku, Actress

Wunmi Mosaku / Credit:

Age: 28 – Mosaku is best known for her role as Joy in the miniseries Moses Jones; she was awarded Best Actress in a miniseries for the role. In seven short years, she has played in over 15 television roles and 7 movies.

10) Destiny Ekaragha, Director

Destiny Ekaragha / Credit:

Ekaragha directed the popular Gone Too Far! (Written by Bola Agbage). Destiny is also known for directing the popular short films Tight Jeans and The Pack, which she also wrote.