Celebrate 20 Years Of 1Xtra With This New Documentary

Celebrate 20 Years Of 1Xtra With This New Documentary

August 16, 2022

With Notting Hill Carnival just around the corner, it's sort of fitting that there's another reason to celebrate this month. It's been 20 years since the BBC launched 1Xtra, its channel dedicated to pushing Black music and Black culture on a national level, and to mark the momentous occasion they've put together this hour-long documentary that charts its history, its contributions to British culture, and some of the many stars and iconic moments that couldn't have happened without them.

1Xtra's own DJ Ace—who's been on the station since its inception—is our guide on this one and he's brought together some of the station's most celebrated hosts, DJs, and loyal supporters such as Trevor Nelson, Twin B, Yasmin Evans, and Nadia Jae. A mixture of new and archive interviews as well as some clips from the vault, we also hear from some of the stars who got the early breaks on the station, including Emeli Sandé, Chip, Wretch 32, and Potter Payper.

For anyone old enough to remember, it really was a watershed moment. Before 1Xtra, Black British music, even that with chart potential, was relegated to specialist shows, often late at night, or pirate radio stations. From the Live Lounge to Fire In The Booth, 1Xtra has set pace for the rest of the country and given us some breathtaking moments in history. It really is hard to sum up the station's contributions to British culture, but this new documentary comes about as close as you can get.

You can watch the 30-minute version below via YouTube or take in the full documentary over at BBC iPlayer.

Words: James Keith