A new Birmingham-filmed BBC series will star an actor who has been in the Harry Potter series, Strictly Come Dancing, and Coronation Street. Filming for the brand-new Champion co-production between BBC One and Netflix has been taking place at a Selly Oak cafe.
The play, written by Candice Carty-Williams, whose books Queeni and People Person were both Sunday Times bestsellers, is marketed as a “celebration of Black music and of a Black family.”
Additionally, for the performance, Selly Oak’s Emma’s Pantry on Raddlebarn Road has been turned into Aria’s, a London cafe. The 0207 number over the front entrance is a huge giveaway that the cafe has been redecorated yellow for a drama and not a lifestyle show.
Alongside Malcolm Kamulete, Nadine Marshall, Jo Martin, and music superstar Ray BLK, Déja J Bowens makes her TV debut in this cast.
However, did you know that there is an actor who has starred in the Harry Potter series, a Disney movie, EastEnders, and Coronation Street? along with participating in Strictly Come Dancing?
In the new series, Ray Fearon will portray Beres Champion. You may have seen him in other movies and television shows, though.
In 1995, he received his first IMDb credit for the television film Prime Suspect: The Scent of Darkness. Before making appearances in several characters in the ITV series The Bill between 1995 and 2002, he played Lennie in three episodes of EastEnders back in 2001.
He starred in 84 episodes of Coronation Street between 2005 and 2006 where he played garage mechanic Nathan Harding. Fearon also as PC Vernon Samuels and Malcom Tumelo in Doctors.
In 2006, he participated in Strictly Come Dancing and was partnered with Camilla Dallerup. In the sixth week, the couple was eliminated.
Fans of Harry Potter and Disney may also be familiar with Fearon. He portrayed the centaur Firenze in Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, the first movie in J. K. Rowling’s series, in 2001.
He has also voiced the phoenix Fawkes in three Harry Potter movies and the Fantastic Beasts spin-off, so that’s not his only appearance in the Wizarding World.
Fearon also appeared in the 2017 live remake of the beloved Disney film Beauty and the Beast opposite Emma Watson, Luke Evans, Ewan McGregor, and Emma Thompson. He portrayed bookseller Père Robert.
Described as “A love letter to Black British music set in south London, Champion is a celebration of a sound that has long been the throbbing core of our culture,” Champion will be an eight-part, 45-minute television series.